Abdullah promises justice to Jalrez victims


Abdullah promises justice to Jalrez victims
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2015 -Saratan 16, 1394 HS
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promises justice
to Jalrez victims
ISIS in Afghanistan
on Putin, Xi Jinping s
By Farhad Naibkhel
KABUL: Ministry of Defense
(MoD) on Monday said that Afghan Air Force (AAF) would be
equipped with 20 Super E29
fighter jets by the end of this year.
Spokesman to the defense
ministry, General Dawlat Waziri,
said that E29 is good aircraft when
it comes to close combat support.
He said the fighter jets would be
available this year to the fledging
air force of the country. Speaking
at a press conference here he said
that Afghan pilots are going under
training in the United States in this
Last year, the US defense ministry has promised to provide six
new MB-530 choppers, transport
aircraft and 20 Super E29 fighter
jets to AAF. Waziri claimed that
wrong decisions in the Bonn Conference in 2001 were the main factors behind the problems faced by
the Afghan armed forces, especially the air force. He said that in
the Bonn Conference, it was decided to build Afghan army consisting of only 70,000 troops without considering air force, engineering, combat support, air defense
and telecommunication corps and
detachment. It was a wrong decision and betrayal. In 2006, we
succeeded to attract international
community s support for forma-
tion of strong armed forces with
all necessary corps and detachments, he added.
The spokesman said that due
to the challenges, finally in 2009
practical steps were taken to
strengthen the air force, adding that
after five years the Afghan army
has build tremendous capacity in
air transportation. Infrastructure
has been built for strengthening
of the air force in different provinces. Currently, aviation corps is
active in Kabul, Herat and Kan-
hief Executive Officer
(CEO) Abdullah Abdullah
on Monday promised to
bring to justice all those officials
who neglected forces' call for support during the deadly battle in
Jalrez district in central Maidan
Wardak province. Speaking at a
meeting of Council of Ministers,
Abdullah acknowledged the negligence by the security officials in
the Jalrez carnage that left nearly
30 Afghan Local Police (ALP)
force members dead with their
corpses allegedly desecrated. "It is
an important issue and we have
already discussed it in an extraordinary meeting of National Security Council," Abdullah said. "We
have assigned a team to investigate the incident in all levels and
the team has started its work." The
Jalrez fighting broke out last Thursday after a number of insurgents
stormed the district and seized all
nine police checkpoints of Jalrez.
The police posts were retaken after three days of battle in an operation by the reinforcement troops
deployed to the area. On the other
hand, the senators during Sunday's
session decided to close the doors
of the Upper House until Wednesday in protest of what they called
the national unity government's
negligence in handling the clash between Afghan troops and Taliban
militants in Jalrez district of Maidan Wardak province. Expressing
strong criticism against security
officials, the Meshrano Jirga (Upper House of Parliament) members
blamed the deadly Jalrez battle on
government's carelessness. Also,
President Ashraf Ghani has recently called the desecration of the
corpses of soldiers a "war crime."
Taliban attack
security posts
in Kunar
Most Ghazni PC members not attending office
AT News Report
KABUL: Armed Taliban militants
have attacked four check-points
of the Afghan National Army
(ANA) and Afghan National Police (ANP) in Wata Pur district of
Kunar province, security official
said. Provincial Police Chief, Abdul Habib Saidkhel, told media
that last night a policeman and two
insurgents were killed in the clashes with the Taliban. He said the
ANA and ANP forced the militants to retreat.
The Taliban haven t commented
yet. On Monday, the Ministry of
Defense claimed that 17 insurgents were killed in operations
against the anti-state elements
within the past 24 hours.
GHAZNI CITY: Most members
of the provincial council (PC) have
long been absent from their office
in the capital of southern Ghazni
province and are busy with their
personal engagements. According
to the rules, no government official could stay off from duty for
three days in a row without a solid
Powerful individuals
hampering contracts:
AT News Report
KABUL: The General Directorate of National Procurement
(GDNP) of Afghanistan on Monday said that some influential people were trying to delay contracts
of the important projects for their
own interest. Chief of the GDNP,
Yama Yari, said the procurement
commission has rejected 125
projects out of more than 300
which had technical problems.
While denying providing further
details, he said that there are some
influential figures in the government who deliberately delay the
procurement procedure in order
to misuse the contracts for their
own personal benefits. Therefore, some of projects were reject-
ed as they were not acceptable to
the procurement commission
which was led by President Muhammad Ashraf Ghani, said Yari.
Lack of transparency in the
tender notices, absence of guarantees and lack of explanations by
the companies were the key problems in some projects, he said.
Five out of 30 companies provided fake documents during the
procurement procedure. The procurement commission has accepted 23 out of 25 proposed contracts which will cost Afs2.5 billion. Afs162 million were saved
in 14 contracts of the Ministry of
Defense, he said. He said the Afghan government has preferred 15
percent to domestic products in
procurement contracts. The aim
is to pave ground for competition
with the imported products.
Vol:IX Issue No:331 Price: Afs.15
dahar provinces. Afghan Air Force
training academy is also active in
Kabul, he said.
Counting challenges, he said
that despite some progress, lack
Close Air Support (CAS) was still
a big challenge for the army.
Commander of the Afghan Air
Force, Major General Mohammad
Dawran, said that great progress
has been made in area of infrastructure and transportation, but for
the army lack of CAS was still
haunting problem.
Spokesman to the defense ministry, General Dawlat Waziri, said t hat E29 is good aircraft w hen it comes to close
com bat support. He said t he fighter jets w ould be available this year to the fledging air force of the country.
The Russian President Vladimir
Putin will hold talks with his Chinese counterpart on potential
threat posed by the Islamic State
of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group in
Afghanistan. This comes as there
have been growing concerns regarding the emergence of ISIS group in
Afghanistan as the affiliates of the
terror are trying to gain a foothold
in the country amid ongoing clashes with the Taliban militants in
eastern parts of the country. According to reports, Chinese President Xi Jinping will travel to Russia to participate in Eurasian security summit scheduled for Thursday and Friday. Chinese vice foreign minister Cheng Guoping told
reporters that Afghanistan faces a
10 militants, 4 policemen
grim security situation due to the
spillover effect of the ISIS group.
Guopin said SCO leaders will
certainly have in-depth discussions on the Afghan issue. He also
added And they will talk further
about how to respond to the security situation there. The Afghan
national security advisor Hanif
Atmar said earlier warned that the
terror group wants to expand its
operations not only in Afghanistan
but the whole region and wants
infiltrate in Central Asian countries.
Speaking to lawmakers in the
upper house of the parliament
Meshrano Jirga earlier in May,
Atmar said the terror group wants
to finance the group s activities by
having access to drugs market.
gunmen killed
couple in Urozgan
reason, but parliament, provincial
council members and government
officials remain absent for months.
Haji Allah Dad, a resident of the
Andar district, said local residents
had been trying for the last few
months to meet the provincial
council members, but they had
been missing from the office. We
have many times visited the PC
office but found no one there.
Sometimes two or three members
sit there, but we could not meet
any, he complained. Allah Dad
recalled people had elected the PC
members by risking their lives, but
the public representatives had betrayed them and remained absent
from office in an organized way.
Mohammad Ibrahim Amiri, deputy head of Waman group, said the
PC members were engaged in their
personal tasks and had no time to
attend office. He said people had
voted the PC members in order
their voice could reach government
departments but their absenteeism
had angered people who might not
partake in future elections. The
PC members receive their salaries
and other benefits, they but do not
perform their duty in a proper
way, he added. Lal Mohammad
from Qara Bagh district said he had
been visiting the PC office for the
last few days to get attested his
documents for obtaining the national identity card. But I could
not find any member to attest my
Residents asked the Independent Directorate of Local Governance to emphasize on the presence of provincial council members
in their office and performing duty
in a proper way. (Pajhwok)
1held with
13kgs of heroin in
Turkmen tribesmen demand lion share in govt
AIBAK: Police in northern Samangan province detained an alleged
drug smuggler and recovered 13
kilograms of heroin from his possession, an official said on Monday. Col. Abdul Haq Sherzad, director counternarcotics, told Pajhwok Afghan News the contraband
was concealed in a car, which was
recovered by police in the Larghan
village of Aibak, the provincial capital. The diver has been detained,
he said, adding that the illicit material was being transferred to
Balkh province from Takhar. The
official said 286 kilograms of heroin, 28 kilograms of opium and 94
kilograms of hashish had been
seized in the province during the
ongoing year. (Pajhwok)
SHIBERGHAN: Over thousands
of Turkmen tribesmen on Monday blocked Shiberghan-Mazar-iSharif Highway for traffic in
northern Jawzjan province, demanding better representation in
They demanded the government
give the tribe better share in appointment of governors and police officers as the only minister
of Hajj and Religious Affairs could
not represent the large tribe. The
protesters blocked the road in Puli-Naw area of the Aqcha district
and stopped flow of traffic. President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani
and Chief Executive Officer
(CEO) Abdullah Abdullah during
their election campaigns pledged
every tribe would be given equal
representation in the government,
they recalled.
Noor-ul-Din, an angry protester, said if the government did
not pay attention to resolve their
AT Monitoring Desk
KABUL: Ten Taliban insurgents
and four policemen were killed in
different incidents in Paktika province. Foreign troops had killed 10
militants and injured several others during an operation carried out
in Marzak area of Naki district, a
local news agency reported on
Monday. A security official told
Pajhwok, on the condition of anonymity, that the killed insurgents
included four Arab citizens, their
translator and the remaining five
were from South Waziristan Agency. An insurgent was arrested and
two vehicles were destroyed in the
late night operation. Spokesman
demanded they would expand the
protest and would block the Aqina, Sher Khan and Hiratan ports
in Faryab, Kunduz and Mazar-iSharif.
of the Taliban, Zabihullah Mujahid, said that in the operation three
US soldiers, three Taliban fighters and a civilian were killed. In
another incident last night in
Khoshamand district of Paktika,
four policemen were killed when
the militants attacked police
check-post. Zabihullah Mujahid
said the militant group has attacked a security check-post in
Jamjami area where four cops
were killed and three others injured. Spokesman to the provincial governor, Nabiullah Perkhel,
confirmed the attack and killing
of four policemen. He said that
one policeman was also injured in
the attack.
Another protester Abdul Ghafar said Bay Murad Qoulni was
the only governor belonging to the
tribe and now the government had
decided to replace him with Lut-
A couple has been killed by unidentified gunmen in central
Urozgan province. The incidnet
took place in Sajawal area of
Urozgan s capital Tireen Kot last
night. Gul Agha, a police officer
said that a group of armed intruders forcibly entered into a civilian
house during the middle of Sunday night and sprayed bullets on
those inside. He said the attack left
a husband and his wife dead and
their child wounded. An investigation has been initiated the incident
but officials suspect personal dispute as the result of the shooting
spree. The child who sustained injuries in the attack is now battling
for his live in the hospital.
fullah Azizi for Jawzjan.
Later, keeping in view the holy
month of Ramazan, the protester
reopened the highway for traffic
after one hour. (Pajhwok)
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Governor seeks improved
religious schooling at home
Afghan children learn to read the Quran, Islam s holy book, at a local Madrassa, or seminary, in
Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Dec. 23, 2013. Canadian officials are shrugging off U.S. concerns that
school enrolment numbers in Afghanistan ??? one of the most tangible indicators of the impact of
millions in aid spending ??? may have been inflated or falsified outright.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/ AP Photo/ Rahmat Gul
anadian officials are shrug
ging off U.S. concerns that
school enrolment numbers
in Afghanistan one of the most
tangible indicators of the impact
of millions in aid spending may
have been inflated or falsified outright.
The American agency that
oversees Afghan aid spending ordered a review of enrolment data
after Afghanistan s education minister implied the numbers are misleading and that money may have
been spent on so-called ghost
schools that don t even exist.
These allegations suggest
that U.S. and other donors may
have paid for schools that students do not attend and for the
salaries of teachers who do not
teach, John Sopko, the special
inspector general for Afghanistan
reconstruction, wrote in a letter
to the United States Agency for
International Development (USAID). Canadian politicians and
bureaucrats routinely cite a huge
spike in enrolment as proof that
at least $227 million in education
spending in Afghanistan, including the construction of dozens of
new schools, has made a difference. When asked what Canada
was doing to verify the statistics
it uses, a spokesperson for Foreign Affairs initially said while
they were aware Afghan officials
sometimes inflate numbers in the
media, Canada takes a different
approach. (Foreign Affairs) is
conservative when reporting Afghan school enrolment figures
from 2013 which state that more
than 8.4 million Afghan children,
almost 39 per cent of whom are
girls, are enrolled in formal and
community-based schools, Francois Lasalle said in an email.
This is a significant increase
from only one million boys enrolled in formal schools in 2001.
Those figures, Lasalle said,
were vetted and reported on by
the Afghan Ministry of Education
Management Information System.
Problem is, it was precisely
those figures and that information system
that were flagged
by the American special inspector.
USAID has cited a jump in
students enrolled in schools
from an estimated 900,000 in 2002
to more than 8 million in 2013
as a clear indicator of progress,
wrote Sopko.
The data USAID uses to
measure this progress came from
the MOE s Education Management Information System
(EMIS), which USAID has said
it cannot verify, and which it now
appears that officials from the
Karzai administration may have
In May, Afghan media reported that Minister of Education
Asadullah Haneef Bakhi told parliament the government of former
president Hamid Karzai made up
education data to get more money
from the international community.
After Sopko s concerns were
made public, Bakhi reiterated
some of his own.
In some of the insecure areas, there are no schools, but the
benefits, opportunities, money for
infrastructure, money for teachers and so on have taken place,
he told TOLOnews, according to
an English translation of the interview that appears on the channel s website.
When asked to explain why
Canada wasn t worried about the
veracity of the same data, Foreign
Affairs took a different approach.
In a follow up email, a different spokesperson said Canada
seeks to validate the data it gets
from Afghanistan via the World
Bank, which oversees some of the
largest education-oriented programs.
Their latest figures state 7.6
million children were in primary
school in 2010.
Nevertheless, given the conflict, basic insecurity, and rugged
terrain it is difficult for all parties
involved to fully confirm these
figures, spokesperson Diana
Khaddaj writes.
In its response to Sopko this
week, USAID said it believed
Bakhi s words were misinterpreted and he was not alleging actual
fraud, just bad data collection, as
well as a tendency by the former
government to publicly overstate
known enrolment.
They said there is no hard
evidence of corruption or fraud.
FIROZKOH: The governor of
western Ghor province underlined
improvement of religious centers
inside Afghanistan aimed at preventing students from travelling to
foreign countries for religious education.
Ghor Governor Sima Joyenda
expressed these views while inaugurating a new building for Abu
Hanifa Madrassa in the capital of
the province on Sunday.
The more the government improves religious centers, the more
people support the government,
s soon as he sees the bright
ly colored storefronts of
fruit sellers and general
merchandisers on this small
stretch of road, Gholam Karbalai
knows he is safe.
Karbalai relaxes as he whizzes past the orange and pink exteriors in his green Toyota hatchback. He s just made it through
12 precarious miles of what is one
of Afghanistan s most dangerous
highways. Karbalai, 55, has been
driving passengers between Kabul and the central province of Bamian for 12 years. Bamian, about
80 miles west of the Afghan capital, is widely considered one of
the nation s safer areas, but getting there by road the way most
Afghans travel, considering the
cost of the thrice-weekly flights
requires choosing between two
of the most dangerous roadways
in the war-racked country.
The once relatively safe northern route entails a six-hour journey across the scenic landscapes
of Parwan province, but includes
a 50-mile stretch through the
Ghorband valley, where the Taliban and the Hezb-i-Islami and
Jamiat-i-Islami militias vie for control. The southern route takes less
than four hours through Wardak,
long regarded one of Afghanistan s
most dangerous provinces. The
scariest 12-mile stretch, west of
the provincial capital, Maidan
Shahr, is replete with gaping craters caused by roadside bombs.
The fear doesn t lift until the car
reaches the town of Jalrez.
Navigating battle-scarred Afghanistan is a constant process of
evaluation and adaptation. In recent weeks, as Taliban insurgents
and their affiliates have stepped
up an offensive in northern Afghanistan, Karbalai and many other drivers have abandoned the picturesque northern highway and are
traveling the rarely used Wardak
route, once dubbed Death Road
for the frequency of Taliban attacks. Now, Karbalai says, it s
only 20 or 30 minutes of worry,
then you re fine. After a recent
journey, he told a passenger that
he hadn t traveled through Ghorband in two or three weeks. Officials say that Ghorband has become something of a rest and recovery center for Afghan and foreign Islamist militants readying
themselves for future battles.
Ghulam Bahauddin Jeelani, chairman of the Parwan provincial
council, an elected advisory board,
agreed that security had deteriorated. Recently, his convoy of armored cars, including a 300-strong
contingent of Afghan security forces, came under attack while traveling through Ghorband to Bamian for ceremonies marking the
province s selection as cultural
capital of the South Asian Assn.
for Regional Cooperation. Returning to Kabul a few days later, he
said, the convoy was stuck for an
hour because of a firefight in the
area. Jeelani said the foreign and
local dignitaries had turned the
road into a high-value target for
the Taliban during the militants
spring offensive. He said he has
raised the issue of security in the
Ghorband valley with President
Ashraf Ghani s national security
This is a problem of the central government, Jeelani said.
They must rally their forces.
Along the southern route,
Karbalai drove past base after base
belonging to the Afghan National
Security Forces, but pointed out
that police or soldiers were not
They can t step outside,
Karbalai says. If they do, they
will be killed on sight.
It wasn t until they reached
Jalrez that he and his passengers
saw Afghan forces standing guard
on the streets.
The physical state of the road
does little to ease the fear of passengers who pay Karbalai about
$11 for the one-way ride (about
one-tenth the cost of a flight).
Ehsanullah, 27, who goes by one
name as many do Afghans, said
he had traveled the same road just
four days earlier and remained
amazed by the giant chunks
carved out of the ground by explosives, as if with a knife. He
counted at least 10 such blast sites
within a few feet of one another.
It s completely tattered, he
said. United Nations statistics say
that roadside bombs planted by
insurgents are the second leading
cause of civilian casualties in the
Afghan conflict.
Though much of Wardak province is regarded as a Taliban
stronghold, Karbalai said he has
little fear of the nation s largest
armed opposition movement.
I ve encountered them numerous times in Ghorband and
here, but if you have no visible
connection to the government they
let you go, he said. They ve
never so much as uttered a bad
word to me.
What passengers and drivers
truly fear is finding themselves
caught in the middle of a clash.
If there is fighting you just
try to escape. There is nothing
else you can do, said another
passenger, Jawid, 25, who narrowly escaped injury during a clash
while traveling through Wardak
last winter.
Karbalai can point to battle
scars of his own. His front windshield and hood suffered damage
in an attack six years ago in Ghorband.
Asked how he chooses between two precarious routes, Jawid said the security situation has
left him with little choice.
Whichever one is safer at the
time, that s what we take, he said.
But no road can keep you from
Latifi is a special correspondent. (Los Angeles Times)
of the new Madrassa would help
resovle problem of hundreds of Islamic students. The religious center has the capacity of 600 students to teach them from primary
up to higher Islamic education.
Akbari told Pajhwok Afghan
News the Madrassa contained 16
classrooms, a saloon, two libraries, three office rooms and a bathroom. The construction of the
Madrassa took one year and its
fund was donated by the Ministry of Counternarcotics.
Afghanistan faces
unprecedented attacks: Report
A restaurant east of Jalrez, Afghanistan, sits along a highway that includes 12 of the most perilous miles of roadway
in the country. (Ali M. Latifi / For The Times)
she said, adding: We as Muslims
should pay more attention to improve religious centers to prevent
our youngsters from going to foreign countries for religious education.
Government officials say that
a number of Afghan youths pursuing religious education in neighbor countries and then they are
trapped by terrorists who used
them for subversive acts in Afghanistan.
Ghor education director Sibghatullah Akbari said construction
OLOnews' security report
for the first six months of
2015 found that the Afghan
forces have faced mounting challenges over the past six months,
following the NATO forces' drawdown in December last year. A visible change in war tactics by armed
insurgents has been recorded following the take over of full responsibility of security by the Afghan
National Security Forces (ANSF),
the report said, which is compiled
monthly on the basis of government-issued figures and statements.
About 5,363 insecurity incidents occurred between January
and end June, the report stated
noting that insurgents have, in this
period, focused more on group attacks, which in most cases, resulted in the collapse of several districts. June alone recorded 1,068
incidents - which was, according
to the report, the only month this
year that saw a slight decline in
insecurity incidents compared to
May which experienced 1,096 occurrences. "This is a war, and in
this war, regional spy agencies are
involved," deputy spokesman of
Ministry of Defense (MoD) Dawlat Waziri told TOLOnews. "But
our forces will never lose their control." The Afghan forces conducted 2,719 anti-insurgent operations
during the past six months, the report indicates.
In addition, the Afghan forces
also launched 107 air strikes on insurgent hideouts. Helmand with
448 insecurity incidents during the
period topped the list of most unsafe provinces, followed by Kandahar, Nangarhar, Herat, Kunduz,
Uruzgan, Faryab, Ghazni, Sar-ePul and Kabul. Bamiyan with seven and Panjshir with only two incidents were among the safe provinces, the report stated. "In general, the security forces had only responsive actions during the last six
months," said Abbas Hussaini of
TOLOnews, who prepared the
report. The report saw 563 attacks
by the insurgents, 341 incidents
of mine explosions and bombings
and 60 suicide attacks, in the past
six months.
A total of 14,597 insurgents
including foreign militants were reportedly killed during the period.
About 1,485 ANSF members,
917 civilians and four foreign soldiers were also killed in these attacks.
In addition, rise of fast-growing Daesh militants was the other
major threat to the Afghan government. Daesh fighters have been
sighted in a number of areas in the
country, causing panic among the
war-hit Afghans.
However, the security agencies recently formed a special unit
to fight Daesh in what appears
to be government's first action
against the group that has seized
large areas in Iraq and Syria.
Work on 20 Ghor development
FIROZKOH: As construction
work on around 20 welfare projects
has been kicked-off which will help
irrigate 19,000 acres of land in
western Ghor province, an official
said the other day. The projects
included construction of 12 dykes,
13 water reservoirs, four canal constructions with total length of
3,150 meters. The projects were
being executed in the Dolain, Dawlatyar, Lalsar Wa Jangal districts
and Firozkoh, the provincial capital. Eng. Taj Mohammad, head of
the Rural Rehabilitation and Development (RRD), said 19,000
acres of land would be irrigated
after completion of the projects.
The schemes would be completed
in one year at a total cost of 65
million Afghanis, he said, adding
that it would benefit 10,000 families. The residents welcomed the
projects and hoped it would boost
agriculture sector of the province.
Syed Mohammad, the resident
of Lashkar Rah village said: With
the construction of three water
reservoirs we would be able to grow
our orchards. (Pajhwok)
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Giving face to a forgotten place
Abdul Zuhoor Qayomi
Shah Bubo Jan Palace is in the list
of most prominent historical
buildings constructed in the rule
of the late king of Afghanistan,
Ameer Abdul Rahman Khan.
The palace which was built in
19th century is said to be named
after Ameer Abdul Rahman Khan s
wife Halima. The palace is located in Shahr-e-Naw area in the capital city, Kabul. The palace has
been built in European style by
the national and international experienced architectures. Fine
wood, bricks and mud had been
used in construction of the palace. It has been decorated with
curved wood giving the palace
contemporary style and common
architecture. Queen Halima was
Ameer s cousin and had graceful
personality. She was pious. The
queen built a mosque near the palace. According to an Afghan writer and researcher, Habibullah Rafi,
the king named the palace after
his wife as she was an education
lover. In an interview with Afghanistan Times, Rafi said that
the palace was built in British
style in the end of 19th century
when Nasrullah Khan brought
English architectures from India.
Painting and decoration of pillars
and ceiling of the palace is more
similar to architecture adopted in
Renaissance period (Europe)
which adds to its beauty further.
The palace is a two storey building including forty rooms, galler-
ies and halls. Palaces built by the
King Abdul Rahman Khan in the
capital city have more much in
common. As the archaeologists
narrated, design of the palace was
prepared by the Austrian engineers and experienced architectures of Kabul. The palace witnessed heart-breaking destruction
during the civil war. It was reconstructed and turned into ethnography museum of Afghanistan
Academy of Science (ASA) after
the former president Hamid
Karzai issued a decree. The palace-turned-museum contains valuable ethnographic pieces based on
their historical importance, indicating the culture of different
tribes and ethnic groups living in
Afghanistan. Collection of these
pieces was made possible due to
hard work of ethnographic experts
working in the ASA and with support of local people. Head of the
ethnography museum Toba
Abawi Sadiq told Afghanistan
Times that there are more than
1,000 of ethnographic pieces from
tribes living in different provinces. Dresses, decoration pieces,
copper, stone, mud and woodmade utensils are the exquisites
of a number of provinces including Nuristan, Kunar, and Nangarhar. These valuable items date back
to Gandahara civilization which
stretched from Indus River to
Oxus River, said Ms Abawi. Turkmen and Kazak makeshift-houses and different types of female
embroidery dresses which are rep-
resenting women of northern Afghanistan had been kept in the
same ethnography museum, she
said. Ornaments, decorative items
and dresses representing different
ethnic groups including Baloch,
Hazara, Uzbek, Turkmen and
Nuristanis are kept in the same
museum. Besides that tens of other items representing the way of
life of different ethnic groups have
been kept in the museum. The ethnography museum could be seen
as the first research center in the
country which helps the researchers. Abdul Saber Junbesh, a member of the Academy of Science of
Afghanistan (ASA), believes that
there were two persons with the
name of Shah Bubo Jan in the
king s family. The first Shah Bubo
Jan was Ameer Abdul Rahman
Khan s spouse and daughter of
Meer Waiz Kabuli, an influential
figure. The second was said to be
the daughter of Muhammad Afzal
Khan and Ameer s sister who established the king s ties with British Empire, when he used to live
in Bukhara. Abdul Rahman Khan
came to power due to the struggle
of his sister and with support of
the British Empire, said Junbesh.
Therefore, Ameer Abdul Rahman
Khan built a palace for his sister
and named it after her, because of
his sister s services when he came
to power in the 19th century, as
Pameer Paikar, an Afghan writer,
has said in his book.
The palace was built in European style as its plan was brought
from Germany in the 18th century. It was not much different from
the Presidential Palace, having
strong pillars. It was built on 12
acres land, he said, adding that the
palace has three gates and fountains inside the lounges.
A beautiful long dressing table was brought by an elephant
from India. Later the mirror was
broken during the civil wars
(1992-1996). Ex-President Hamid
Karzai ordered renovation of the
palace, he said.
He said the project was not
as good as expected as low quality wood was used in renovation
of the palace.
Junbesh said the ethnography
museum still needs more cultural
pieces to represent the different
ethnic groups in better manner,
however, to purchase the pieces
that are in possession of people
need sufficient budget to buy.
There are stone pots used
some 90 years ago in Shutul district of Panjshir province, guns
taken from British troops, horse
saddle, kandos [mud-made large
pot used for storing wheat] and
wooden sandals that the government should purchase from people and put on display in the museum for visitors, he said.
He is of the opinion that still
many people don t know about
the ethnography museum and its
importance. He urged the government to tell public about the museum through media. Junbesh added that it would generate revenue
for the government as well.
It will also help the university and school students to benefit from the museum in their research and general study, because
there are many things that they
read in the books but have not
seen, said Saber Junbesh.
Razeqi Nalaiwal, a writer, told
Radio Azadi that Shah Bubo Jan
was Ameer s sister and has built
the palace in 1880-1901, as she
was educated and had graceful
personality. Shah Bubo Jan was a
literate woman and had learned
ordinary knowledge from her father and teachers. She was interested in poetry and sometimes
used to sing poems. However,
he provided different information
about architecture of the palace.
He said that Shah Bubo Jan Palace was built in Italian style by
Italian engineers. The palace has
two gates: one at its north and
second at the south. He said the
walls of the palace were decorated with pictures of birds. Sakhi
Rad, a writer, has said that Shah
Bubo Jan used to live in the palace. Later, her relatives lived there
to take care of the palace.
Balkh carpet weavers plea for more
Balkh carpet weavers, internationally renowned for their carpets,
have lambasted national unity government leaders for what they consider a failure to adequately support and take full advantage of the
carpet industry's potential to drive
economic growth. The weavers,
comprised largely of women, have
warned that the domestic carpet
industry could face major job losses and diminished competitive edge
in international markets if the government does not take action soon.
Their primary grievance centers on
the low wages most carpet weavers garner. Khadija is a Balkh carpet weaver who was forced to take
up the trade when she lost her husband 14 years ago. She says she
works day and night in order to
support her children. "I send my
daughter and son to school and
meet their expenses by weaving carpets," Khadija told TOLOnews.
The majority of women working
in the carpet industry in Balkh are
said to live under the poverty line,
Khost residents complain
of slow internet speed
KHOST CITY: The residents of
southeastern Khost province
complained low-quality internet
services by telecommunication
companies. The mobile operators
functioning in the province included Roshan, AWCC, MTN, Salaam
and Etisalat, which provide telephone as well as internet services
to some extent. The residents of
the area complained all mobile
operators were providing almost
same but low-quality internet services which were causing interruption in their work. Haidar Khan, a
resident of the province, told Pajhwok Afghan News he had activated internet packages of all mobile companies but none of them
was effective. The internet is
very slow. It opens Facebook and
some other websites after a long
time. It cannot open emails within 10 minutes or download or upload anything, he said. Zabit
Khan, a computer store owner, in
Kausar Market of Khost city, said
that 3G service which previously
activated by MTN was also as
slow as 2G service. All of the
telecommunication companies
cheat people as none of them provide quality internet services,
Khan said, adding that maximum
speed of the internet reached up
to 8kb/sec while a simple photo
of mobile camera was approximately one MB to view. We
don t know what to do with this
internet speed. It would be better
if they stop their services and do
not cheat people, he remarked.
In addition, three other private Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are
also active in Khost, but residents
say they cannot afford the internet services from the private ISPs.
Sher Mohammad, another
dweller of Khost, said that only
government and non-government
organizations could use internet
services of ISPs.
You must buy an antenna for
$100 from ISPs at first and should
pay $100 as monthly fee to
them, he said. (Pajhwok)
with many barely able to earn 50
Afs a day. Although their proposed
solutions for the difficulties they
face differ, Balkh's carpet weavers
all agree that the central government should do more to support
their industry. "There is no market, we a need a company to sign a
contract with so that we can reap
the fruits of our labor," another
weaver named Fatima said. "Now
only the company owners have the
advantage, but not the workers,"
she added.
Shakila, a social worker and
women's rights activist, has sought
to help empower Balkh women
through employment promotion.
"We want to emphasize that workshops should be launched for women to train them in design, coloring
and other fields," she told TOLOnews. "There is a need to sign a contract with local companies and even
foreign companies in order to boost
the incomes of the workers." Based
on expert estimates, there are 120
carpet weaving companies operating in nine northern and northeastern provinces of Afghanistan, and
some 90 percent of the weavers are
said to be women. Commerce officials say they receive on average two
to ten thousands Afs in exchange
for each meter of carpet. Still, the
acting head of the northern carpet
weavers association, Abdul Manan
Balkhi, has acknowledged the difficulties faced by workers in the industry and vowed to do what is
necessary to improve their plight.
"We are thinking about joint cooperation with the government to establish contacts in international
markets, particularly with sellers in
U.S. and German markets," Balkhi
said on Sunday. "We will talk to
donors and create new designs,
which are better in terms of prices,
and this will help us facilitate better
pay for workers." (TOLONews)
Foreign militants
roam streets in
Kunduz freely:
100 - 119
KUNDUZ CITY: The residents of
northern Kunduz province on Sunday informed that strangers armed
men roaming on streets in the provincial capital, creating fear among
locals but the government was unable to question their identity.
According to local officials
more than 7,000 illegal armed men
were seen roaming in Kunduz province, creating chaos and sense of
insecurity among residents of the
locality. The armed men are famous as Arbakis among Kunduz residents. Arbaki is the tribal
group that takes part in security
of their locality without receiving
any perks from the government.
Now they are referred to the mercenaries that are supported by the
government to fight insurgents, but
are not part of the government.
After fighting in Chardara,
Khan Abad districts and Gortapa
locality illegal armed men flocked
Kunduz city turning it into a military zone.
Majority of these men come
from Khan Abad district without
uniforms but fully armed and could
be seen around markets and local
departments. Ezatullah, a resident
of Kunduz, told Pajhwok Afghan
News: These gunmen without
uniform and strange looks perform
grotesque movements that terrorize people. They remind me of the
civil war period 20 years ago.
He added the government was
using these Arbakis to fight Taliban but they run away from Taliban and brought chaos to the city.
Sayed Reza, a shopkeeper,
said: These armed men come to
our shops to buy clothes. If I tell
them price of a good at 500 afghanis they would only pay 300 afghanis. If we ask for the rest of our
money they would threaten us
with guns. He added the shopkeepers closed their shops earlier
for fear of being looted by these
people. Reza said now that few
days were left for Eid celebrations
they were supposed to be open
until late night. Abdul Maqsood,
another resident, said: Arbakis are
roaming freely in the city, nobody
can stop them.
He expressed concerns that
presence of these armed men
would one day lead to clashes and
insecurity in the city. According
to residents, earlier police chief had
ordered all check posts to prevent
these people from entering the city,
but after security situation deteriorated they could easily enter the
city. Kunduz provincial council
also expressed concerns about the
presence of illegal armed men. Amruddin Wali, provincial council
deputy head, said these armed men
extorting money from residents
and troubled them. The government should disarm them as soon
as possible. Sayed Sarwar Husseini, police spokesman, said they
still haven t received any complaints about these people creating trouble for residents.
If they received such complaints, he added, they would take
action. (Pajhwok)
Farah school
gets new building
with WB aid
FMIC Hospital
Behind Kabul Medical
Rabia-i-Balkhi Hospital
Pule Bagh-e- Umomi
Khairkhana Hospital
Indira Gandhi Children
Hospital, Wazir Akbar
Khan, Kabul 2301372
Ibn-e- Seena
Pul-e-Artan, Kabul
Wazir Akbar Khan
2301741, 2301743
Ali Abad
Shahrara, Kabul
Malalai Maternity
2201377/ 2301743
Da Afghanistan Bank
2100302, 2100303
Kabul Bank
222666, 070285285
Azizi Bank
0799 700900
Pashtany Bank
2102908, 2103868
Air Services
Safi Airways
020 22 22 222
FARAH CITY: With a 17.3 million World Bank s assistance, a new
building for the Kahdank High
School in the capital of western
Farah province has been completed, an official said on Monday.
Provincial Education Director
Eng. Mohammad Sabir Farooqi
told Pajhwok Afghan News the
building had 10 classrooms and
some administrative offices. He
said about 700 students of the
school had to study in a girls high
school building until the new building was completed. Zahir Shah
Khadim, the economy director,
said the building cost 17.3 million
afghanis. According to the educa-
tion department, 128,000 students,
40 percent of them girls, are taught
in 320 schools across Farah. Of
the schools, 165 have no proper
buildings. Farooqi said buildings
for another 40 schools had been
approved and construction work
on them would be started soon.
Mohammad Kabir Haqmal,
the Ministry of Education (MoE)
spokesman, said 12,000 construction projects, including school
buildings and boundary walls, had
been completed over the past decade. He said currently 17,000
schools were functional in the
country out of them 50 percent
had buildings. (Pajhwok)
A minor girl is sleeping by the
side of her handcart, in the
month of fasting and charity,
Ramadan. There are hundreds
of minor girls working in the streets.
There is no welfare program with no
access to education.
Kam Air
Safi Landmark
New Rumi Restaurant
Internet Services
UA Telecom
0796701701 / 0796702702
Exchange Rate
One US$ =
One Pound Sterling=
One Euro =
1000 Pak Rs =
One US$ =
60.62 Afs
One Pound Sterling=
One Euro=
67.22 Afs
1000 Pak Rs= 589Afs
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Naw az, Modi to meet at Russia Summit
OSLO: As heads of state and education ministers gather this week
for the Oslo Education Summit,
student activist Malala Yousafzai
is calling on world leaders to deliver on their commitments, and ensure that every child has access to
12 years of free, quality primary
and secondary education.
Speaking tomorrow at the summit, Malala will urge leaders to invest an additional $39 billion annually to make this promise a reality.
It is her first visit to Oslo since
receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in
“Last year in Oslo I spoke of
our historic opportunity to put an
end to wasted potential and empty classrooms. And now, we must
make a choice: to choose more of
the same or to choose bold leadership to ensure that no girl is denied an education. Now, we must
seize this opportunity and put a
plan in action to ensure all girls
can achieve at least 12 years of
quality education,” said Malala.
In May 2015, ministers from
over 100 countries signed on to the
Incheon Declaration in Korea,
committing to provide free primary and secondary education to all
children by 2030.
To guarantee twelve years of
universal fee-free primary and secondary education will cost an estimated $340b per year through
2030. The current funding shortfall is $39b — equivalent to just
eight days of global military spending.
“The poorest girls get just
three years of schooling because
of a lack of will and vision by our
governments. This is unacceptable.
Leaders of the 21st century must
deliver on their promises to invest
in the future and start investing in
books, education and hope, rather
than in weapons, war and conflicts.” said Malala
“We will not stop. We will
continue to speak out and raise our
voices until we see every child in
In a paper published for the
Oslo Education Summit, the Malala Fund — a non-profit co-founded by Malala and her father —
presents clear recommendations
for governments to finance full
primary and secondary education
for all children by 2030.
The paper calls on governments to increase the size of their
often-low education budgets. Low
and lower-middle income countries need to commit a minimum
of 20 per cent of their national
budgets to education. The current
average is now 15pc.
“Only education will unlock
the potential of millions of my sisters and brothers — brilliant young
minds who will become, if given
the chance of quality primary and
secondary education, the next great
scientists, engineers or teachers or
anything they want. Our leaders
must have the same level of ambition for all children as they have
for their children, no matter where
they live,” said Malala.
The Malala Fund argues that
traditional and non-traditional bilateral donors should commit to
meeting a target of 0.7pc of Gross
National Income (GNI) in Official
Development Assistance (ODA)
and increase the share of aid to
basic and upper secondary education.
For example, commitments to
0.7pc of GNI in ODA by the
emerging BRICS and Arab donors,
with just 10pc of total aid allocated to education, could raise an additional $13.3bn.
A further $20.3bn could be
raised annually if seven non-EU
traditional donors - Australia, Canada, Korea, Japan, Norway, Switzerland and the United States make and meet this commitment
to 0.7pc of GNI in ODA, or in
Norway’s case, its higher commitment of 1.0pc, and spend 10pc of
this on basic and secondary education.
The Malala Fund is also calling on leaders to expand the mandate of the Global Partnership for
Education (GPE) for upper secondary education.
Expanding its scope to secondary levels would enable the
GPE to mobilise additional funding needed to support 12 years of
quality primary and secondary
education for all, reaching an additional 266 million children in low
income and lower-middle income
countries by 2030.
“The Global Partnership for
Education has played a crucial role
in increasing access to quality basic education across over 60 countries.
The Malala Fund welcomes
leaders’ commitment to educating
every girl and boy for 12 years
through upper secondary education. If we are to make good on our
promise, we must expand the
funding mechanisms in place to
achieve this goal,” said Meighan
Stone, President of the Malala
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will
meet his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on the sidelines of a summit in Russia this week, sources
told NDTV.
“The two leaders will meet in
the Russian city of Ufa, on the
sidelines of a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation,”
sources said on Monday. The
meeting is set to take place on July
Further, the source said the
Indian premier’s call to PM Nawaz
to convey his greetings on the advent of the Islamic holy month of
Ramazan thawed relations between
the two countries. However, the
source added, “This in no way indicates the resumption of dialogue
just yet.”
Though there is no official admission of the meeting, sources
said, “PM Modi is expected to
raise India’s concerns on terrorism,
including the release of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi who was released
earlier this year.”
Later during the day, the Foreign Office confirmed PM Nawaz
will attend the summit but did not
state whether he will meet his Indian counterpart or not.
“The prime minister will also
hold important bilateral meetings
on the sidelines of the SCO Summit,” the FO statement said, without giving further details.
“As an Observer State of the
Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Pakistan has been making
substantive contribution to regional peace, security and development,” the statement added.
Further, last week, Islamabad
hinted at a possible meet up between the two premiers on the
sidelines of the upcoming regional
cooperation summit in Russia.
The Shanghai Cooperation
Organisation, a Eurasian political, economic and military organisation, is scheduled to meet in the Russian city of Ufa on July 9 and 10 with both
India and Pakistan likely to be granted full-membership of the forum formed in 2001.
“No side has contacted the other for a meeting, but in any multilateral setting, meetings among heads of states are a normal feature,” Foreign
Office spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah had said.
Nawaz and Modi last met at the SAARC summit in Kathmandu last November, though they did not hold formal talks.
BNP chief Khaleda says govt misrule and
corruption have crippled Bangladesh
She said on Sunday: “The corrupt
minister is still holding the portfolio even after importing rotten
wheat. What is the condition of
roads? They have been unfit for
vehicular movement.
“Flood-hit people are not getting two meals a day. The government is paying no attention to that.
That’s why I’m saying the country is not progressing; the country
has been crippled.”
Khaleda’s statement came
within days after the World Bank
said Bangladesh became a lowermiddle income country, joining
those with annual incomes of
$1,046 to $4,125.
She was speaking at an Iftar
organised by the pro-BNP engineers’ forum, the Association of
Engineers Bangladesh (AEB), at
Bashundhara Convention Centre
in Dhaka.
The AEB announced its panel
for the election to the Institution
of Engineers, Bangladesh at the Iftar. Khaleda urged the association
members to be united to secure
victory in the polls.
She urged AEB President
Mahmudur Rahman to get out of
jail on bail.
“Mahmudur Rahman has to
suffer in jail as he spoke the truth
and protested injustice. I wish to
urge him to take bail.
“He had refused bail. I wish to
tell him that he has to come back
to engineers on bail,” she said.
The former prime minister reiterated her call to the government
to hold a snap election where all
political parties can contest.
“An election is needed imme-
diately under a neutral government.
“Only then will democracy will return and good governance, human rights, and fundamental rights would be re-established. People’s security
will be ensured,” she said.
Sri Lanka polls timed ahead of UN war
crimes report to foil Rajapaksa comeback
Sri Lanka's August elections have
been timed to stop a comeback by
war-time president Mahinda Rajapaksa, who remarkably may see
his popularity rise in coming
months if criticized for war crimes
in a U.N report, said government
Rajapaksa's crushing of a 26year Tamil Tiger insurgency in
2009 won him support among the
country's Sinhalese majority and
he still has a very strong following.
Thousands rallied to hear him
announce his comeback campaign
on a Buddhist holiday in his Hambantota district on July 1.
"He is popular and a strong
campaigner among Sinhala masses
with the war victory," said Kusal
Perera, director of the Center for
Social Democracy, a Colombobased think tank.
A U.N. report on the last days
of the war is due for release in September but an aide to President
Maithripala Sirisena said diplomatic sources had warned it may
be leaked in late August.
The possibility of an early
release prompted Sirisena to call
elections for Aug. 17 to give his
ally Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe an edge and hopefully
deny Rajapaksa any chance of a
political resurgence, said sources
close to Sirisena.
"Even if is not said openly, the
U.N. report was considered when
deciding the date," Champika
Ranawaka, power and energy min-
ister and one of Sirisena’s close allies, told Reuters.
Foreign diplomatic sources
said some Western countries also
worried the U.N. report could
help Rajapaksa and urged Sirisena
not to delay elections.
Dissolving parliament for August elections has also saved Wickremesinghe from a scheduled noconfidence motion over alleged
mismanagement of the economy.
The outcome of the elections
will also determine whether Sri
Lanka under Sirisena continues to
repair relations with India, or opts
for greater ties with China under
Rajapaksa built close ties with
China, helping Beijing establish a
strategic foothold in the Indian
Ocean to the chagrin of traditional
ally India.
China built ports, airports,
highways, and power plants under Rajapaksa with more than $5
billion in loans, and sent a submarine and warship to visit Colombo, irking India.
But Rajapaksa's decade-long
rule was marred by allegations of
corruption and rights violations.
Rajapaksa, some former ministers
and family members now face
multiple investigations. They have
denied any wrongdoing.
Sirisena has been trying to
reverse some of the steps Rajapaksa took to consolidate power, by
depoliticising state institutions
such as the police, judiciary and
public services.
He has re-established ties with
India, making India his first foreign visit, and questioned deals
with China, including a $1.4 billion luxury property and port
project. "China has been trying to
strengthen its relationship with the
new government," a top government official told Reuters. Dullas Alahapperuma, a minister under Rajapaksa, said if Rajapaksa
forms the next government the
former president would resume all
projects stopped by Sirisena.
Sirisena is a former minister in
Rajapaksa's administration who
defected last year to become president, promising fresh elections in
2015. But since taking office he
has failed to pass electoral reforms
due to opposition from his main
ruling coalition partner, the United National Party, and members
of his own Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), who remain loyal to
Rajapaksa. The rivalry between
Sirisena and Rajapaksa at the upcoming elections may further
splinter the SLFP, which has seen
around 75 members join the opposition since January. Sirisena
has said he will not support Rajapaksa as the SLFP prime ministerial candidate, but he is under pressure due to Rajapaksa's popularity to allow him to contest the elections under an SLFP-led opposition coalition.
Pakistan, India to start
process of joining
China security bloc
BEIJING: Pakistan and India will
start the process of joining a security bloc led by China and Russia
at a summit in Russia later this
week, a senior Chinese diplomat
said on Monday.
It will be the first time the
grouping has expanded since it was
set up in 2001.
“As the influence of the SCO's
(Shanghai Cooperation Organisa-
tion) development has expanded,
more and more countries in the region have brought up joining the
SCO,” Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping told a news
"...India and Pakistan's admission to the SCO will play an important role in the SCO's development, it will play a constructive
role in pushing for the improve-
ment of their bilateral relations.”
The SCO groups China, Russia and the former Soviet republics of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, while
India, Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan
and Mongolia are observers.
The bloc was originally
formed to fight threats posed by
radical Islam and drug trafficking
from neighbouring Afghanistan.
Cheng said that the summit,
to be attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping, would also discuss security in Afghanistan.
Beijing says separatist groups
in the far western region of Xinjiang, home to the Muslim Uighur
minority, are seeking to form their
own state called East Turkestan
and have links with militants in
Central Asia as well as Pakistan
and Afghanistan.
China says that Uighur militants, operating at the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM),
have also been working with Islamic State. “It can be said that
ETIM certainly has links with the
Islamic State, and has participated
in relevant terrorist activities. China is paying close attention to this,
and will have security cooperation
with relevant countries.”
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Saud i-led strikes on Yemen hit
party HQ of Houthi ally Saleh
SANAA: Saudi-led air raids
pounded the Sanaa headquarters of
Yemen's former president Ali Abdullah Saleh's General People's
Congress party late on Sunday,
killing and wounding several people, witnesses and a party official
The strikes coincided with a
visit to the capital by the U.N.
special envoy to Yemen, Ismail
Ould Cheikh Ahmed, who is seeking to arrange a pause in fighting
until the end of the Muslim holy
month of Ramadan on about July
17 to allow for deliveries of humanitarian aid.
Saleh is an ally of the country's dominant Houthi movement.
A Saudi-led coalition has orchestrated a more than three-month
bombing campaign against the
Houthis and army units loyal to
Saleh to try to restore President
Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who
is in exile in Riyadh.
The General People's Congress party's assistant secretary
general, Faeqa al-Sayed, said the
party headquarters had been destroyed. The raids were an attempt
to make the talks with the U.N.
fail, she said, adding that several
employees and others were killed.
"This will not make us back down
on our efforts .... to create the suitable environment to cooperate
with the United Nations," she said
in a statement on the party's website. Ould Cheikh Ahmed arrived
in Sanaa on Sunday for talks with
the Houthis, after discussions in
Muscat, Oman to push for a pause
in fighting that has killed nearly
3,000 since March. Both sides
largely observed a five-day truce
brokered by the United Nations in
Kuwait is considering charging
more than 40 people in connection with a deadly suicide bombing in a Shiite mosque claimed by
the Islamic State group, a security
official said .
“More than 40 suspects, including a number of women, have
been referred to the public prosecution,” the official told AFP, requesting anonymity.
“Now, it is up to the prosecution whether to press charges
against all of them or not,” the official said. The Saudi bomber killed
26 people and wounded 227 in the
June 26 attack in the capital Kuwait City.
Among the defendants are the
alleged driver of the bomber and the alleged owner of the house where the driver stayed. Kuwait has a
confessionally divided population of around one third Shiite to two thirds Sunni. Last month's attack was the
first in the emirate to be claimed by IS, which controls swathes of neighboring Iraq and Syria.
May to allow in fuel and medicine
to civilians trapped in conflict
zones. Saleh, the strongman who
resigned following 2011 "Arab
Spring" protests after more than
three decades in power, has
emerged as the main military ally
of the Houthi Shi'ite fighters. The
strikes late on Sunday also struck
the home of former president
Saleh's nephew and several houses belonging to Houthi supporters
in the south and west of the capital Sanaa.
VIENNA: An Iranian nuclear
agreement is possible this week if
Iran makes the "hard choices" necessary, but if not, the United States
stands ready to walk away from
the negotiations, U.S. Secretary of
State John Kerry said on Sunday.
Speaking during a break from
one of his four meetings with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad
Javad Zarif on Sunday, Kerry said
they had made "genuine progress"
in talks over the last few days but
"several of the most difficult issues" remain.
"If hard choices get made in
the next couple of days, made
quickly, we could get an agreement
this week, but if they are not made
we will not," he said in Vienna,
where talks between Iran, the United States and five other powers
are being held.
Foreign ministers from Britain,
China, France, Germany and Russia began arriving on Sunday
evening as the major powers make
a push to meet Tuesday's deadline
for a final agreement to end the 12year-old dispute.
Kerry said negotiators were
still aiming for that deadline, but
other diplomats have said the talks
could slip to July 9, the date by
which the Obama administration
must submit a deal to Congress in
order to get an expedited, 30-day
The agreement under discussion would require Iran to curb its
most sensitive nuclear work for a
decade or more in exchange for relief from sanctions that have
slashed its oil exports and crippled
its economy.
U.S. President Barack Obama's
administration, which has been
accused of making too many concessions by Republican members
of Congress and by Israel, remains
ready to abandon the talks, Kerry
said. "If we don't have a deal and
there is absolute intransigence and
unwillingness to move on the
things that are important for us,
President Obama has always said
we're prepared to walk away," he
said. European officials also said
the onus was on Iran to cut a deal.
After arriving in Vienna, French
Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius
told reporters the main question
was whether Iran would make
"clear commitments" on unre-
solved issues. German Foreign
Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier
said it would take courage and compromise to reach a deal. "I hope
that this courage exists above all ...
in Tehran," he told reporters.
The major powers suspect
Iran of trying to develop a nuclear
weapons capability. Iran says its
nuclear program is solely for
peaceful purposes such as producing medical isotopes and generating electricity.
The top U.S. and Iranian diplomats met for a sixth consecutive
day on Sunday to try to resolve
obstacles to a nuclear accord, including when Iran would get sanctions relief and what advanced research and development it may
Keeping up a what has been a
steady stream of criticism, Israeli
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the United States and
major powers were negotiating "a
bad deal". "It seems that the nuclear talks (with) Iran have yielded a collapse, not a breakthrough,"
he said, in remarks released by his
office. Iran's semi-official news
agency Fars quoted an unnamed
senior Iranian official as saying
about 70 percent of a 32-page annex to the agreement had been written and "30 percent is between
brackets", meaning it was still under discussion. The agreement itself is expected to include a political understanding accompanied by
five annexes. "We hope that the
main portion of this (annex) will
be cleared up today, and if any issues remain, they will be discussed
at higher-level meetings, so that we
can reach a solution," the official
He said that issues under discussion include Iran's uranium enrichment facilities at Fordow and
Natanz, its Arak heavy-water nuclear reactor under construction
and research and development.
While they have made some
progress on the type of bilateral
sanctions relief that Iran may receive, the two sides remain divided on such issues as lifting United
Nations sanctions and on its research and development of advanced centrifuges.
Diplomats close to the negotiations said they had tentative
agreement on a mechanism for suspending U.S. and European Union
sanctions on Iran.
But the six powers had yet to
agree with Iran on a United Nations Security Council resolution
that would lift U.N. sanctions and
establish a means of re-imposing
them in case of Iranian non-compliance with a future agreement.
In addition to sanctions, other
sticking points include future monitoring mechanisms and a stalled
U.N. probe of the possible military dimensions of past Iranian
nuclear research. Senior officials
from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear
watchdog, plan to visit Iran this
week. Another obstacle in talks is
Iran's demand to be allowed to do
research and development on advanced centrifuges that purify uranium for use as fuel in power
plants or weapons.
Turkey summons
ISIS suicide bombers strike in Iraqi refinery tow n
commanders to
discuss Syria
intervention: Report
The Turkish army has called a
meeting of troop commanders stationed along its fortified border
with Syria to discuss a possible
intervention in Syria, the Hurriyet
newspaper reported .
Turkey has boosted its military defenses on the volatile border over the past week, stationing
tanks and anti-aircraft missiles
there as well as bolstering troop
numbers, as fighting between Islamist-led groups and Syrian regime forces in the northern city of
Aleppo has intensified.
The Turkish build-up has fed
speculation that the government is
planning to intervene in Syria to
push Islamic State of Iraq and Syria
(ISIS) jihadists back from the border and halt the advance of Kurdish forces who have made gains
against the extremists in the area.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Thursday ruled out any
prospect of an immediate intervention in Syria.
Bur Hurriyet said on Sunday
that the Turkish Armed Forces had
ordered all commanders of troops
stationed along the border to attend a meeting at military headquarters in Ankara next week to
discuss the details of such an operation.
The deployment of over 400 armored vehicles, which would carry military personnel and be protected by jammers against mines
laid by ISIS militants, would be on
the agenda at the meeting, Hurriyet reported on its website.
The role of the Turkish Air
Force in supporting such an operation is also expected to be discussed, it added.
Turkey currently has 54,000
soldiers deployed along the Syrian border.
Special forces commander Zekai Aksakalli on Sunday inspected
troops on a tour of the southern
border province of Kilis as a new
convoy of artillery and missile batteries was deployed, Anatolia
news agency reported.
Davutoglu said on Thursday
that while a unilateral intervention
was “out of the question”
under current conditions, Turkey would “
not wait for tomorrow” to act
in Syria “in the event of a threat to
domestic security.”
Turkey is one of the fiercest
opponents of Bashar al-Assad’s
regime in Damascus and has taken
in more than 1.8 million refugees
since the war in Syria began.
Ankara also fears that the
growing power of Kurdish forces
there will embolden Turkey's 15million strong Kurdish minority.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he would “never
allow” the formation of a Kurdish
state along Turkey’s southern borders.
Islamic State of Iraq and Syria suicide bombers and fighters attacked
the centre of Iraq's northern oil refinery town of Baiji overnight, forcing the army and Shi'ite fighters to
pull back, military sources and the
local mayor said .
The town of Baiji and its refinery - Iraq's largest - have been a
battlefront for more than a year.
The hardline Islamists seized the
town in June 2014 as they swept
through much of northern Iraq towards the capital Baghdad.
Control of Baiji neighbourhoods has changed hands many
times during the conflict. The latest ISIS offensive comes after authorities said they controlled nearly the whole town and expected to
drive insurgents from the refinery
within days.
The militants attacked around
8 pm (1700 GMT) on Saturday
with two suicide car bombings. The
blasts were followed by fierce
clashes that lasted until midnight
and drove the army and mainly
Shi'ite Hashd Shaabi forces from
the centre of town, two army colonels said.
Baiji mayor Mahmoud al-Jabouri said there had been a pattern
of withdrawals by ISIS fighters in
the town followed by counter-offensives. "Their lethal weapons
are suicide attacks and snipers, and
this is why we have fighting back
and forth."
Army officers said the army
and Hashd groups were preparing
a response. "ISIS fighters are still
holding positions in three neighbourhoods in Baiji and they are still
receiving reinforcements," said one
of the army colonels.
In Anbar province west of
Baghdad, witnesses said two rock-
ets hit a crowd in the ISIS-controlled provincial capital Ramadi
on Saturday evening, killing at least
18 people.
They said a group of people
had gathered after the daily Ramadan fast to play Muhaibis, a
game where players have to identify a member of the opposing
team who is hiding a ring.
"I heard a blast and saw fire
coming from Dolphin Square. I ran
to the place and saw vehicles carrying bodies and wounded covered
with blood. They were innocent
people playing a ring game; they
were not making bombs," said Haj
Thamir Ahmed, a Ramadi resident
who lives nearby.
In northwest Baghdad, at least
three people were killed and 11
wounded when a bomb went off
near a restaurant in the mainly
Shi'ite district of Shulaa on Sunday morning, police and medical
sources said. Another two people
were killed by a bomb in Hussainiya on the city's northern outskirts.
There was no immediate claim
of responsibility for those attacks,
but statements in the name of Islamic State said the group carried
car bombings on Saturday evening
in Baghdad and Balad Roz which
killed 10 people.
Jordan ‘foils Iranian-backed terror plot ’
Jordanian security forces have
foiled a terror plot by a member of
an Iranian-backed group, local
newspaper Al Rai reported on
The report states that the suspect belongs to the Iranian Bayt
al-Maqdis group and holds Iraqi
and Norwegian citizenship.
The suspect was found to be
in possession of large amounts of
explosives and was arrested in
northern Jordan, the newspaper
Jordan's state security court
was set to hold its first hearing on
the case on Monday.
Despite similarities in the
name, the Iranian-backed group is
reportedly unrelated to Egyptian
militant group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, which recently changed its
name after pledging allegiance to
A source familiar with the investigation told Al Rai that 45 kilograms of explosives were found
in the suspect's possession.
"This is the most serious case
in a decade in terms of the quantity of explosives discovered and
their quality," said the source, adding that a major terror operation
had been averted.
Beijing w arns citizens in Turkey of anti-China protests
Foreign ministry says Chinese tourists recently "attacked and disturbed" in Istanbul protests over treatment of Uighurs.
Beijing has warned its citizens travelling in Turkey to be careful of
anti-China protests, saying some
tourists have recently been "attacked and disturbed".
The notice, posted on the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs website on Sunday, said there had been
"multiple" demonstrations in Turkey targeting the Chinese government.
Relations between Turkey and
China have been strained recently
over the treatment of Muslim Uighur people in China's far western
region of Xinjiang, who have been
banned from worship and fasting
during the Muslim holy month of
China's treatment of the Uighurs is an important issue for
many Turks, who see themselves
as sharing a common cultural and
religious background.
Turkey vowed on Friday to
keep its doors open to ethnic Uighurs fleeing persecution.
"Absolutely do not get close
to or film the protests, and minimise to the greatest extent outside
activities on one's own," the Chinese notice said.
The Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reported that a small group
of people last week attacked a
Chinese restaurant in Istanbul's
popular Tophane district, smashing windows.
On Sunday, several hundred
protesters marched towards the
Chinese consulate in Istanbul carrying flags and chanting anti-China slogans outside the building.
Earlier in the day, some of the
protesters had burned a Chinese
flag. "They [Uighurs] are our
brothers and are being persecuted
for their faith," said 17-year-old
Muhammet Gokce, who was wearing a blue headband with the words:
"East Turkestan you are not
"They did nothing wrong, their
only fault is to be Muslim. Turkey should embrace its brothers,
should save them from the brutal
hands of communist China."
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We a r e a n a t io n a l in st it u t io n a n d n o t t h e v o ice o f a go v t o r a p r iv a t e o r ga n iza t io n
Editor: Abdul Saboor Sarir
Phone No: +93-772364666
E-mail: [email protected]
Email: [email protected]
Photojournalist: M. Sadiq Yusufi
Advisory editorial board
Saduddin Shpoon, Dr. Sharif Fayez, Dr. Sultana Parvanta, Dr. Sharifa Sharif,
Dr. Omar Zakhilwal, Setara Delawari, Ahmad Takal
Mansoor Faizy and Edriss Akbari
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Mohammad Parwiz Arian, 0708954626, 0778894038
Mailing address: P.O. Box: 371, Kabul, Afghanistan
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Printed at Afghanistan Times Printing Press
The constitution says
Article 11:
Matters related to domestic as well as foreign trade shall be regulated by law
in accordance with the economic requirements of the country and public
Acid attack on
schoolgirls in Herat
Living with scars of acid is always a hardest part of the acid
victims. Hell-bent on spreading terror, perpetrators throw acid
into their victims’ faces in a bid to disfigure the victims severely. The results are always horrifying. Scarred for life, the victims usually lose their sight in one or both eyes whereas some
others are psychologically traumatized. This trauma is beyond
endurance. Should it happen with the family members of the
perpetrators, and there will be no acid-hurling-attacks. Acid
attack is the worst form of terrorism as almost all the attacks
have been on women and girls, therefore, there must me the
harshest punishment for the perpetrators. Schoolgirls in this troubled and ill-fated country had been victims of acid attacks as a
punishment for attending school. The horrendous act of acid
hurling took place the other day when three girls, teenagers,
were making their way to school in the western Herat province.
They were intercepted by two men on motorbikes who hurled
the acid at them. They reportedly told the girls: “This is the
punishment for going to school.” Intolerance for education among
the diehard extremist forces is awful as these teenage girls have
paid a heavy price for education. Girls face a number of hindrances to education as a result of attacks by militants who
sternly oppose girls’ education. Nearly 2.4 million girls are
currently receiving no form of education, compared to 1.6 million boys. This is a huge loss as millions of girls and boys are
being brought up as illiterate in an age where the world is changing as much fastest as it leaves the illiterate in a state of utter
despair. Even in the face of unspeakable hardships, 12 percent
of girls are literate, according to a recent UN report. There is
no horrendous and biggest crime than disfiguring people with
acid attack. The government must not remain silent on the issue.
Religious scholars must also play their role as the peace-loving
religion Islam never allows such inhuman acts of terror. This is
not only worth lamenting but condemning that the government
has failed in finding out what usually causes poisoning of schoolgirls? If a government couldn’t know who is behind poisoning
the schoolgirls or what cause it, how it will successfully fight
terrorism. There have been numerous incidences of poisoning
of girls at schools, but in the incidents of acid attacks psychological and emotional recovery is usually a greater and painful
challenge then the physical one. There were 12 arrests in 2008
in acid attack case, but any such development is expected in the
recent acid hurling act?
Back in 90s, the fighters of Gulbaddin Hekmatyar were the
first to carry out acid attacks against girls. To quell the trend of
acid trend the government will have to do extra yards. The government must direct the intelligence service to carry out an investigation and try to know who were behind the attack.
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By Ahmed Rashid
The fear is that more drugs
could be finding their way out
of Afghanistan via Central Asia
Could increased fighting in
northern Afghanistan lead to
an influx of drugs transiting
through Tajikistan and Central
Asia to Russia and Europe?
That is the worry of senior officials in the region.
“The drug situation depends on Afghanistan, because all the drugs we catch
come from Afghanistan,” Lt
Gen Rustum Nazarov, head of
Tajikistan’s Drug Control Agency, told me in Dushanbe.
He said that Afghanistan already produces 90% of the
world’s opium and that flow
could increase if the Afghan
government loses control of the
porous Afghan-Tajik border,
much of it formed only by the
Panj river.
Hundreds of Afghan and
Pakistani Taliban and Central
Asian fighters from half a dozen different groups have seized
control of large tracts of the
northern Afghan provinces
which border Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan.
“We are looking at a worsening military situation in Afghanistan and the flow of drugs
will increase the more the warlords and extremists get to control the Afghan side of the border,” said Gen Nazarov.
The consequences of drug
addiction are all too clear to see
in Kabul and elsewhere in the
Much of the funding for
these militant groups comes
from drug trafficking, according to Gen Nazarov and Western diplomats in Dushanbe.
The Central Asian militant
groups are the prime traffickers for drugs heading to Russia, Europe and, increasingly,
to China as well.
“All the Central Asian
groups such as the Islamic
Movement of Uzbekistan and
Ansarullah, as well as the various factions of the Taliban and
Islamic State, are involved in
trafficking drugs,” Gen Nazarov said.
Islamic State is a relatively
new player in the region and
has been extending its influence in Afghanistan in recent
In times past Afghans
would only deliver drug shipments to the border and hand
them over to Central Asian
groups, but now Afghans representing the Taliban and other Afghan groups are living in
Moscow and other towns in
Russia, according to Tajik
drugs officials, in order to get a
share of the huge profits that
ensue once the drugs reach
Russia and Europe.
The price of heroin rises
from $20,000 (£12,800) per kilogram on the Tajik-Afghan border to an astronomical $400,000
in Paris or London. International traffickers are now being
eased out of the business in
Europe by Afghans and Central Asians working directly
with the sources of supply in
Afghanistan, says Tajik drugs
officials and Western diplomats in Dushanbe.
Russian Foreign Minister
Sergei Lavrov warned recently
that “the volume of drug production in Afghanistan is growing at a threatening pace and
the income is being absorbed
not only by terrorist groups in
the country, but also beyond
its borders”.
In 2014 the Tajik Drug Control Agency caught six tonnes
of heroin and opium but that is
still a miniscule share of the
6,500 tonnes produced in Afghanistan.
The UN Office of Drugs
and Crime (UNODC) says that
the total area under cultivation
for opium in Afghanistan rose
by 7% in 2014, even though
production is largely confined
to only nine of Afghanistan’s
34 provinces.
General Nazarov estimates
that 20-22% of Afghan drugs
exit for Europe through the
northern route via Tajikistan
and Uzbekistan. Another 45%
goes through Iran and some
38% goes through Pakistan. It
is impossible to verify such figures - other drug control agencies do not release estimates.
The Tajik Drug Control
Agency is one of the star performing organs of a government in which corruption and
inefficiency is generally widespread. The agency has been
praised by the UNODC, the
Organisation for Security and
Co-operation in Europe, as well
as the Shanghai Co-operation
Gen Nazarov recounted a
time during the Soviet era in the
1970s when Tajik border guards
caught only 10-15 kilograms of
drugs a year - and most of that
was marijuana. He says the flow
of opium and heroin started after the civil war in Afghanistan
began in the 1990s.
The first heroin was caught
on the Tajik border in 1995. The
Drug Control Agency was set
up four years later. What angers officials in Russia and Central Asia is the question of why
Nato and US forces did not deal
more effectively with the drug
problem after they arrived in
Afghanistan in 2001.
“They had no policy towards curbing drugs and now
we have to deal with an ever
worsening situation,” says Gen
The drugs epidemic is likely to get worse. Both China and
Russia are experiencing huge
increases in domestic drug addiction, which provides traffickers with a new market and
further incentives.
There is still no international plan on how to end the continuing increase in drugs production in Afghanistan itself.
Until that happens Afghanistan’s neighbours will continue to suffer. (Courtesy: BBC)
Ahmed Rashid is a Pakistani journalist and author
based in Lahore.
His latest book is Pakistan
on the Brink - The Future of
America, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Earlier works include Descent into Chaos and Taliban,
first published in 2000, which
became a bestseller.
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By Sujeet Sarkar
Afghanistan is headed towards its
bloodiest summer, after the fall of
Taliban, post 9/11. There has been
unprecedented surge in Taliban
strike, posing a serious threat to
the internal security and stability
of the country. The attack of Taliban has spiraled from its traditional bastion of southern provinces, bordering with the fragile
terrorist sanctuaries of Waziristan,
to the once relatively stable northern provinces. The Taliban has further wormed their way to the federal capital and attacking Kabul at
their free will. And the military and
civil causality is escalating at an
alarming rate, with every passing
day. The Taliban is appearing more
threatening than ever. Between
January 1 and June 15, 2015, more
than 2500 army and police personnel have been killed, a whopping 53 percent more than the same
period in 2014, according to
NATO.The data of civilian killing
by Taliban almost depict the same
trend. The officials at the Ministry of Defense (MoD) reported
ongoing counter-insurgency operations in 14 provinces, estimating
the total number of districts facing
grave security threats nationwide
to range between 40 and 50. The
territorial gain by Taliban doesn’t
augur well for the beleaguered nation.
After the exit of U.S and
NATO from combatant role, the
local force of Afghanistan is directly facing the heat of the Taliban
for the first time, since 2001. The
mounting civilian and military causality is sparking a growing apprehension about the capability of the
NATO trained Afghan forces to
maintain security and further quell
the surging Taliban offence. And
this comes on the top of the country’s deep political divisions and
wounds, aggravated by the presidential election, have not begun to
heal. The political difference between the two groups, wedded
under an uneasy unity government
arrangement is opening up. This
has resulted towards political stalemate and frozen appointment in
key position. The vital defense
ministry was devoid of a leader,
for close to three months, at a time
when the Taliban have been making aggressive headways. Afghanistan’s future remains precarious at
best and more uncertain than ever.
It is particularly disturbing to
note that humanitarian aid workers are increasingly becoming target of Taliban. Even by the Taliban’s own crude metrics, the aid
workers were generally spared, in
the past. This spring all the laid
barometer of Taliban are seen to
be failing and the gap between military, civilian and humanitarian sector are blurring. The Afghan war
has started seriously constraining
humanitarian capacities of the aid
agencies. The prolong unrest and
growing insecurity is choking the
development process and crippling the already fragile economy
to a halt. This doesn’t augur well
for a country, where the misery of
citizens is only getting from bad
to worse. The unfolding grim situation in Kabul has once again reiterated the need to pursue the
peace process, with a renewed vigor. The international community
is once again upbeat about the idea
of engaging with Taliban, in their
bid to solve the Afghan deadlock.
The brazen attack on the parliament however has partially damaged the prospects for peace talks
between the government and the
Taliban. But there are enough rationale minds in the political circle
of Kabul not to let the attack dampen the chances of striking a peace
deal with Taliban.
The Afghan peace process is
being viewed as the brainchild of
the U.S. military think tank and
was zealously pursued by the U.S.
However the political fall out between Karzai and Obama administration, coupled with the killing
of the peace chair Rabbani by Taliban halted the peace process. After more than decade of relentless
military operation, it is becoming
increasingly clear that the Taliban
is far from vanquished. In fact the
whole military operation is turning out to be counter-productive
and the Taliban is only emerging
ahead of the game. Military operation is not the solution for the
Afghanistan fiasco anymore.
The international strategic
community may see the initiation
of peace process as a meek submission before Taliban. But Afghans have learned an inescapable
lesson that peace, security and
prosperity cannot be achieved
through war and bloodshed, anymore. This creates a ground for
political engagement with the
moderate Taliban, under the fold
of the Afghan peace process.
The moderate Taliban refers to
those who are ready to denounce
violence and terrorism and willing
to join the mainstream development and political process. The
Government of Afghanistan is even
contemplating the concept of Afwa
(meaning forgiveness or political
amnesty) for the moderate Taliban.
The patch-up-terms would include
the Taliban laying down their
weapon on the terms of Afghan
Government and abiding by the
Constitution. The international
policy experts anticipate that the
proposed peace process would
eventually result towards a structured power sharing deal between
the moderate Taliban and the incumbent Government of the
present day. President Ghani may
be compelled to accommodate
some key Taliban leaders in the
power structures, to make the
peace process work and last in the
interest of Afghanistan.
The new political set up in
Kabul is showing some early sign
of rapprochement with Taliban to
drive the peace process. President
Ghani is gravitating more towards
the all weather duo of Pakistan and
China. Afghanistan is relying on
the political goodwill of China to
influence Pakistan to cooperate in
the peace process. By visiting
China in his first leg of foreign tour,
the president has made his intention loud and clear. Along with infrastructure investment, Afghanistan is keen on enlisting China’s
support towards facilitating reconciliation talks between the Afghan government, the Taliban and
their Islamabad based mentors.
Given the strategic nature of Chinese-Pakistani relations, Beijing is
in a strong position to influence
the policies of the Pakistani security establishment towards Taliban.
The heavy handedness of ISI
in aiding and abetting Talban insurgency in Afghanistan is well
documented in the white house. All
western call for Pakistan to act
tough on terror has gone into deaf
ears. In the past, Islamabad has
played the China card in to blunt
the US pressure to tame Taliban
and dismantle terrorist sanctuaries spread over Waziristan.
The actual source of the
present day crisis in Afghanistan
boils down to Pakistan. Hence
Pakistan also has to be part of the
solution. Ghani’s approach of
making Pakistan a key party to the
peace process may sound cynical
but stands politically pragmatic.
Ghani’s priorities toward Pakistan
are vastly different from his predecessor’s approach. Pakistan had
played a significant part in its own
way in Ghani’s victory in the presidential election last year and also
views the present government in
Kabul far more sympathetically.
As a result, the milieu of relations
between Afghanistan and Pakistan
has significantly improved in the
period since Ghani took office.
More than the premier Nawaz
Sharif’s, the visit of the Army head
Rahel Sharif’s to Kabul has set the
ground for better strategic ties.
During the past seven months,
Ghani has worked hard to improve
relations between the two
neighbors.To address Pakistani
suspicions, he has toned down
Afghanistan’s traditional alliance
with India and step up unprecedented security cooperation with
Islamabad, despite facing a volley
of domestic opposition.To allay
fears of Afghanistan’s growing
proximity with India; President
Ghani has sidetracked the issue of
ongoing security cooperation with
India. The repeated calls of the
Karzai government to support
Afghanistan with military and
machine have been put on the back
burner by president Ghani. These
developments have kept Pakistan
and its all-powerful army in good
Pakistani civilian and military
leaders have made pragmatic statements. Afghan officials were elated when Pakistan’s dominant army
chief, Gen Raheel Sharif, declared
that the “enemies of Afghanistan
are enemies of Pakistan” during a
visit to Kabul in February 15. The
unfortunate attack of army school
in Peshawar has made the Pakistan army realize the threat posed
by Taliban. And the two countries are seeing a common enemy
in Taliban, for the first time, in the
history. The new reality has created a common ground for both the
nation to chase the Taliban for the
time being and influence them to
participate in the peace dialogue.
The extension of the new military
doctrine of Pakistan wont be extended to its arch rival India, for
sure. It would be restricted to a
limited scale use, in Afghanistan
On its part, India should do
nothing that may pause the growing trust between Kabul and Islamabad. The new political think
tank in Kabul has regarded their
relations with Pakistan as by far
the most critical priority of their
foreign policies. Hence India
should cooperate with Afghanistan
and give up its rigid stance on any
form of engagement with Taliban.
India and Pakistan have large
strategic stakes in Afghanistan.
They are going to influence the
peace process, according to their
long-term strategic goals in Afghanistan. India in particular, has
vociferously expressed its fear and
strategic concerns about the ongoing peace process. It fears that in
the name of engaging with moderate Taliban, the pro ISI Taliban
hardliner would be accommodated
in the power corridors of Kabul.
This would provide them the political leeway to advance the Pakistan agenda and edge out India from
thick of things, in Afghanistan. India has employed a development
kitty of almost 1.6 billion USD, a
huge grant, even by international
standards. India is the largest civilian donor in Afghanistan, after
U.S. and Japan. In addition to the
existing historic and cultural ties,
India’s development forays in Afghanistan have generated tremendous popular and political good
will, in the country. There is no
match for the vast reservoir of
goodwill that Afghan people feel
towards India. Hence by staying
away from the peace game, they
tend to gain more in Afghanistan.
It has to just safeguard its longterm strategic interest. The strong
presence of northern alliance is a
sufficient condition for India to see
that ISI is checked from running
away with their peace module in
Afghanistan. Also with the US
micromanaging the peace process,
in turn would inhibit Pakistan from
milking the peace process in Afghanistan. India should rather build
a popular consensus that any
peace process should be Afghan
led, owned and controlled.
The rediscovered bonhomie
and growing affinity between Afghanistan and Pakistan must show
decisive result in Afghanistan.
Even though the security cooperation between the two embattled
nation faced by the common threat
of Taliban has improved, but yet
to be termed as satisfactory. At
best such cooperation can be
termed as seminal effort by both
sides to neutralize tensions and
respond to each other’s concerns.
The ISI must now cut its umbilical
cord with Taliban and stop fanning unrest in Afghanistan. The
recent increased spate of attack in
Afghanistan has put more pressure in Islamabad to oblige its commitment of acting tough on Taliban.
President Ghani has put a large
stake on Pakistan to advance the
peace process in Afghanistan. India must trust his judgment and
his good intentions as he navigates
his country through a tiring and
trying period in its history, beset
with existential problems. The
path to peace is certainly going to
be very tumultuous in Afghanistan.
There is no homogenous opinion
about the proposed peace process,
within the international community. They are divided among themselves with multiplicity of views
and opinions, largely colored by
their respective strategic priorities.
Navigating a peace process amid
complex mire of larger international
interests would certainly be a herculean task for Afghanistan.
However Peace should be given a chance to prevail in Afghanistan, allaying all such presumptuous fears and concerns. This is
high time for some path breaking
and defining steps in Afghanistan.
It is now or never, the so-called
“end game” in military parlance.
Pakistan in alliance with its big
brother China should not squander the possibility of contributing
to the peace process, through a
political process, in Afghanistan.
Also, most of the peace building
processes in conflict-ridden countries fail as the state put up rigid
pre-conditions for such dialogue.
President Ghani should adopt a
flexible and constructive approach
for building durable peace in Afghanistan. The world is excitingly
waiting to witness the fate of the
peace process in the country.
Sujeet Sarkar works as an international advisor on governance
and writes columns on international affairs for leading international
dailies. He has authored an acclaimed book on Afghanistan titled
In Search of a New Afghanistan.
The views, perception and opinion
expressed in this article are purely
of the author
Investment in mining industry
Fourteen years have passed. Billions of dollars were poured into the country. Several national and international investors invested in Afghanistan. However, in the 14th year—2015—most of investors have left the country, the country’s economy is dwindling and the billions dollars have
not been spent on infrastructure projects during the 13 years. Daud Shah Saba the Minister of Mines and Petroleum in his recent visit in Baku,
the capital city of Azerbaijan, asked for more investment of that country in Afghanistan. He said the two countries have promised to use all
possible options for strengthening cooperation between Kabul and Baku.
More investment is need of the hour for Afghanistan as it is passing through a challenging phase. Moreover, the security agencies should
leave no stone unturned in ensuring safety of national and international investors otherwise they will not get interested to invest in Afghanistan.
The national unity government should prepare an inclusive plan for attracting the attention of local and international investors. Through this
plan, the government should meet with them and provide them information about investment opportunities inside the
country. This will encourage local and international investors to establish big projects in the country.
Karim Sarwarzada, Khairkhana, Kabul
Letter to editor will be edited for policy, content and clarity. All letters must have the writer’s
name and address. You may send your letters to: [email protected]
The views and opinions expressed in the articles are those of the author(s)
and do not reflect the views or opinions of the Afghanistan Times.
By Meredith Clark
When the U.S. invaded Afghanistan in 2001, a rationale offered
was to protect the women who live
there from the Taliban, a misogynist, oppressive regime. Military
operations were touted as the only
way to liberate Afghan women
from the Taliban. Fast-forward 15
years and billions of dollars later,
it is unclear if the money spent on
guns, tanks, and deals with warlords has drastically improved the
lives of Afghan women.
Jamila Afghani, an activist for
Afghan women, claims this is due
to the international community
debating what is best for Afghanistan — without actually listening
to the Afghan people.
“We have to have our part in
the negotiation process,” Afghani
said. Leaders working on peace
deals, she tells us, “need to listen
to us and to [hear us] share our
experiences,” because women and
children are the ones who pay the
price when fighting flares.
Afghani, an Islamic scholar and
social worker, initially taught literacy in refugee camps. She currently works with Afghan imams,
Islamic religious leaders, to incorporate information from the Quran about women’s equality into
their sermons. While American
rhetoric surrounding Islam often
draws a straight line from religion
to violence against women, Afghani’s work is an essential tool
for changing attitudes toward
women in Afghan communities.
In the program Afghani developed, a preliminary group of 25
local imams has expanded to more
than 6,000 religious leaders, all of
whom have pledged to preach
women’s equality in their
mosques. “We are able to go where
the government cannot reach,” Afghani said. “We go where the international community cannot
reach. We, as activists, are frontline soldiers.”
Women have been making
strides in civil society, from representation in government and the
workforce to education. However, these same gains have occurred
simultaneously with rampant corruption, instability, and violence.
But even the most horrifying recent events have included historic
moments. After a 27-year-old
woman was murdered by a mob in
Kabul, women broke with Afghan
funeral customs to carry her coffin at her funeral, and 15 people
were ultimately convicted of
crimes related to her death.
Despite what U.S. leaders purport, there is virtually no system
in place to ensure that money allocated to help Afghan women is
delivered. According to a
report from the military last year,
U.S. agencies spent more than $68
million on projects for women
from 2011 to 2013, but beyond
that number, “the full extent of the
agencies’ efforts to support Afghan
women was unclear.”
Sally Kitch, a professor of
women and gender studies at Arizona State University, believes efforts to help improve life for Afghans that don’t rely on the expertise of existing activist networks
will be incomplete.
“One of the things that the
U.S. could do that it hasn’t, is to
get behind organizations that are
able to get to places that they can’t
go directly,” Kitch said. Her
book, Contested Terrain: Reflections with Afghan Women Leaders,
follows Afghani’s work and Marzia Basel, an Afghan judge. Afghanistan has a long history of women’s activism, and women like
Basel taught and organized while
the Taliban ruled.
“Now that we’re changing our
relationship, this might be a very
good time to get behind these very
successful programs on women’s
rights and social justice in general,” Kitch added.
A deteriorating security situa-
tion, especially for women, has
made Afghani’s work more difficult, but she is undeterred by the
risks. “The work we are doing is
challenging the traditional tribal
system of our community,” she
said. “It is a risk for status quo, a
risk for those who are holding power. Of course our life is in danger;
we receive different sorts of
threats, letters, phone calls, and
warnings — but we have to work.
We have to continue.”
That work has paid off, and
Afghani said it makes her proud.
“They are doing their own training. They are founding their own
NGOs, their own writing channels,
and their own newspapers,” she
said, “These are the things that
make me hopeful for the future of
ISIL and the
of savagery
By Martin Reardon
The world is well aware of the brutal savagery shown by ISIL in their
unending stream of macabre executions - captured in graphic and
sickening detail in videos uploaded to YouTube and social media
for consumption by aspiring jihadists, those unfortunate enough to
be subjected to their occupation,
and curious individuals drawn to
images of violence.
Last year, we saw the first of
their countless mass executions by
shootings and beheadings. Since
then, they’ve added to their
repertoire of horrific executions,
routinely subjecting their victims
to crucifixions, stoning, immolation, being thrown from tall rooftops or burying them alive, hanging, or death by multiple amputations.
The estimate of how many
have been executed are staggering the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights puts the number of confirmed ISIL executions
in Syria alone during the last year
at over 3,000.
Women and children haven’t
been spared either, with well over
a hundred such executions documented on video or in photographs.
Barbaric acts of cruelty
To most of the world, the executions are nothing more than
senseless and barbaric acts of cruelty - stark reminders of history’s
most notorious despots and repressive regimes; some would say
irrational or self-defeating.
But for ISIL there is a twisted
yet deliberate purpose to their savagery - total domination of its subjects through fear and intimidation
on the one hand, and outright hate
and vengeance towards its enemies
on the other.
It is based on a mythic and
medieval past where how they execute their victims is as important
as to why they execute them. And
while there have been far worse
regimes in terms of brutality, ISIL
seems to openly revel in it, always
looking for new opportunities to
exploit their terror and find new
And as disconcerting as that
may seem, their insatiable bloodlust and penchant for cruelty actually appeals to a global following of mostly angry, disenfranchised, or maladjusted young men
and women all too willing to join
their ranks to fight a common enemy - what ISIL spokesman Abu
Mohammad al-Adnani identifies
as “infidels, Shia and apostate
Muslims”. Basically, anyone who
defies them or does not accept and
closely adhere to their strict form
of religious ideology.
In his 2004 online treatise: The
Management of Savagery, al-Qaeda strategist Abu Bakr Naji wrote
what would eventually become the
ISIL strategy. In essence, how to
destroy “apostate” Muslim regimes so they fall into a state of
“savagery”, allowing them to be
built back up under a caliphate. Naji
believed that violence and cruelty
were necessary in order to achieve
and maintain control and that no
mercy should be shown. According to Naji: ”One who previously
engaged in jihad knows that it is
nought but violence, crudeness,
terrorism, deterrence and massacring.”
For those unfortunate Syrians
and Iraqis subject to ISIL control,
the aim of this savagery is to break
them psychologically so as to ensure their absolute allegiance
through fear and intimidation. Under ISIL rule there are no options.
If you obey, you live. The alternative is unthinkable. For their enemy, there is no quarter.
Desensitised to the shock
As with any horror that becomes a matter of routine in people’s lives, the world and those
subjected to it eventually become
desensitised to the shock, causing
it to start losing its intended effect. For ISIL, that means a continual search for new methods to
instil fear and intimidation and new
enemies or apostates to subject
them to - a never-ending cycle of
brutal violence and grisly deaths.
Last week, two women accused of sorcery were beheaded in
Syria - they were the first reported beheadings of women by ISIL.
Their husbands met the same fate.
Also last week, two young boys,
their ages not known, were crucified in Eastern Syria for not fasting properly during Ramadan. The
intended message was clear. Those
who do not follow the strict tenets of Sharia law, as imposed by
ISIL, will suffer the consequences.
In Kobane two weeks ago,
ISIL took revenge for their defeat
at the hands of the Kurds last winter, killing over two hundred civilians in their homes and on the
streets as they methodically moved
about the city. Their aim wasn’t
to reclaim lost ground or even to
attack military targets, but rather
to raid and plunder as in medieval
In another horrific video released two weeks ago, ISIL showed
the executions of 16 men in Mosul
who were accused of spying for
the Iraqi government by providing
targeting data for coalition air
strikes. But this time, three new
methods of execution were used
to ensure the message was received
and understood by all.
Four of the men were restrained to the inside of a car and
watched in horror as a jihadist
armed with a rocket propelled grenade took aim and then fired at
them from a short distance away.
They could be heard screaming in
agony as the car was engulfed in
flames following the explosion.
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How the women of
Marikana are taking
on the World Bank
Residents of shantytowns around site of the 2012 massacre fight for
"comfortably middle class" lives they were promised.
In keeping with Ramadan tradition, Sudan is seeing vibrant, innovative efforts to give back to the underprivileged.
Only 15 minutes left before Iftar,
the time to break the day's fast,
and already Khartoum's quickmoving traffic is thinning. As the
sun drops below the horizon,
groups of energetic youth take
their posts at major intersections,
bus stations and hospitals,
equipped with food baskets and
water bottles. Preparing themselves for the call to Maghreb
prayer, which during Ramadan
marks the time to eat after a day of
fasting, the highly organised youth
form smaller groups to hand out
their provisions to passersby.
"This is not new. Maybe the form
of conducting it is, but the concept is as old as Sudanese society
itself," said Mohammed Akood, a
member of Wosool, a youth organisation for charity and education.
"Giving is cleansing for one's soul.
Besides, even if it's just a handful
of dates or a bottle of water, it still
counts," he explained. "The joy we
see in people's faces is enough."
Sudan During other months,
Wosool's work is centred on providing educational support for
schoolchildren. But during Ramadan, the group takes on the additional responsibility of feeding
the public. The space for public
coordination in Sudan, eased open
by recent technologies and a vibrant new generation, has allowed
Ramadan charity work to better
engage society, clustering people
in informal circuits of support.
Ahmed Haroun is one of the volunteers using new forms of funding to further his work. Before the
advent of Ramadan, he launched a
plea on Whatsapp for small sums
of money through mobile credit
transfer. "Pooled together, these
transfers allowed me to serve
about 10 people a day, give or take,"
he said. Haroun uses the funds to
help Sudanese with relatives in the
hospital, who often don't have the
means or time to feed themselves
when taking care of others. "We
make sure that we help them so
that they can help their loved ones,"
added Haroun. OPINION: Ramadan in the shadows: Fasting
while poor Rabie Abd Alaatie, a
member of the ruling National
Congress Party (NCP), believes
New technologies have allowed Ramadan charity work to engage society, clustering people in informal circuits of support [EPA]
that these efforts are simply the
modern form of Ramadan's long
tradition of charity and aid work.
"This is a continuation of the ordinances put in place by our ancestors," said Alaatie. "These initiatives serve in combination with
official efforts and plug the gaps."
According to political analyst Osman Mudawi, this kind of work
can counterbalance other efforts
that, despite being more formal,
stumble over the roadblocks of inefficiency or even corruption. "The
[youths'] work … is an indication
of a tendency to take initiatives
outside ulterior motives, which can
sometimes taint the same type of
work done by politically affiliated
organisations," said Mudawi. Ramadan is often characterised by the
smell of hilomur, a traditional
Sudanese drink that fills the air
with its scent as people prepare
its dry form before the month begins. These kinds of traditions,
coupled with large family and community gatherings, can make the
month of Ramadan a time of rising
costs for families. "Some families
feel resigned to the fact that it's
not going to be easy to prepare for
the month. That is when we come
in," said Mohammed Khair Alseed,
another volunteer. The work … is
an indication of a tendency to take
initiatives outside ulterior motives,
which can sometimes taint the
same type of work done by politically-affiliated organisations. Osman Mudawi, political analyst
Turning to his Facebook page for
the latest updates on his own charity initiative, he explained how a
simple idea between friends grew
into a relief effort for families. "A
month before Ramadan, we started collecting donations from colleagues and friends and family to
buy flour, food oil, dates, and sugar to give to families," he added.
Their work was aided by their families, who helped identify neighbours that could use the help.
Mohammed and his friends then
distributed the packages they put
together, giving out 31 in all. Another group, going by the name of
"Jana", focuses on helping families with relatives that have been
jailed for debt. Their initiative allows people to seek release from
jail and reunite with families back
home for Ramadan. "We launched
an appeal on Whatsapp groups
and opened a bank account where
donations can be deposited," said
Sami Alshinawi, one of the group's
members. By aiding vulnerable
groups such as jailed mothers to
pay off their debts, the group has
managed to help 60 people return
home for Ramadan. "It is incomprehensible for us that a woman
would be jailed for an amount as
little as $10, while her children are
without help," said Alshinawi. According to her, the initiative is on
its way to achieving a second target of 100 people. Another member of the group was proud of the
fact that Jana has helped maximise
the benefits of Whatsapp for charity. "We chat all the time. But now
we are able to make sure that the
time we spend on social media will
mean somebody ends up happy
among their family." Al Jazeera
Migrants complain of being sent to squalid shelters, as France unveils plan to reduce asylum processing times.
Waking at dawn to the shouts of
police and the bright headlights of
buses waiting to take them away,
Yacoub Mansour and more than
300 other migrants living under a
bridge were becoming aware that
their time in this part of Paris was
up. In the early hours of June 2,
27-year-old Mansour, a Libyan,
and the others - mainly from
Sudan and Eritrea - were told by
police to get on the buses and leave
their tents and cardboard for
proper shelter. It was not what
they had expected. With dedicated
asylum shelters overbooked,
Mansour was brought instead to a
hotel - part of the emergency housing used by government to help
the homeless, an increasing proportion of whom are asylum seekers. "We were two to a room," said
Mansour. Yacoub Mansour has
slept outdoors across the capital,
awaiting proper shelter [Kyle G
Brown/Al Jazeera] "Three days
with no food. We asked and they
said they don't give food to migrants." If he had had any money,
Mansour might have been able to
eat someplace nearby, but he is
penniless. Caught up in an asylum
system that a parliamentary committee report described as mired
in crisis, Mansour is among the migrants who say the shelters are
even worse than the streets they
are pulled from. "Numerous migrants return from so-called shelters within days - sometimes in
just hours," said Eve Shahshahani,
asylum programme manager for
ACAT, a Christian human rights
organisation. "They have to go
back to where they camped to get
free food from NGOs and
neighbours. Otherwise they cannot survive. The accommodation
is short-term, and many of them
are asked to leave after one night."
Asylum and shelter Of some
65,000 people who applied for
asylum in France in 2014, fewer
than 15,000 gained access to asylum lodgings. The remaining
50,000 or so sleep in emergency
shelters, with family and friends,
or in the makeshift camps across
the country from the streets of
Lyon and Paris to the squalid
"jungles" of Calais. The number of
people fleeing to France for protection has almost doubled between 2007 and 2014. But only a
few thousand new shelter places
have been created over that time,
leaving a rapidly rising number of
asylum seekers homeless for the
18 months or more that it takes on
average to process their claims. As
a black Tuareg in Libya, Mansour
said he was suspected of having
fought for the late dictator
Muammar Gaddafi, and feared his
days were numbered. He described
troops going from house to house,
looting and carrying out revenge
attacks. When his brother, a former
soldier, was accused of theft and
taken away by troops, Mansour
went into hiding until he and three
friends boarded a boat to cross the
Mediterranean Sea to Europe. He
and a few dozen migrants took
trains from Italy into France, disembarking when controllers
checked for tickets that no one had.
And so they continued, getting off
one train and waiting for another,
until Mansour and the dwindling
group of travellers realised they
were finally in France.
'There is no drinking water'
Like thousands of others, Mansour
arrived with dreams of a fresh start
in the land of liberté, égalité and
fraternité. But if the cardboard mat
under the bridge at La Chapelle in
the north of Paris didn't disillusion
him, his third stop - the homeless
shelter on the other side of the city
- certainly did. "There is no drinking water. They told us to drink
the water in the washroom. But
when you go in, there's excrement
in the toilet, on the floor - everywhere." Mansour recounted his
journey while looking over Les
Jardins d'Eole, a large rambling park
where locals and migrants sit on
the grass or play football. Later,
they will break their Ramadan fast
with roast chicken, salad, and fresh
bread - food provided by local residents and NGOs - before setting
up camp in a nearby square. "It's a
thousand times better [than the
shelter]. The water is so clean,"
said Mansour of the large fountain
which, at the turn of a tap, dispenses water to drink or wash up
at any time of day. Locals may take
it for granted, but for those who
have gone days with little food and
drink, it is an oasis. But here, too,
they live on borrowed time. On
June 19, city officials "proposed"
alternative accommodation, as riot
police arrived to seal off the exits
at either end of the street. Almost
200 migrants were ushered onto
buses and taken to their next destination - no one was told where.
Ivoa Alavoine, the cabinet assistant director of the City of Paris,
oversaw the eviction. She told Al
Jazeera that the shelters are safe
and clean, and that migrants are fed.
While that contrasts sharply with
the testimony of some migrants
and human rights groups, others,
like Eritrean Omar Ibrahim, report
having eaten and slept well at some
shelters. But Ibrahim, too, said he
is invariably made to move on after two or three days, and then is
back on the streets. In the past four
weeks, 25-year-old Ibrahim said he
has slept in more than 10 different
locations - most of them outside.
After spending a year in an Eritrean
prison before escaping, though,
he's not particularly bothered.
They chase us like animals. We have
crossed the ocean and gone days
without food. We just want a place
to sleep and something to eat, that's
all! "If they want to help me here,
they can help," Ibrahim said with
a shrug. "If not, no problem. I want
freedom only." The lack of proper
shelter, repeated displacements
and heavy-handed police have
prompted dozens of French academics and non-governmental
organisations to sign a petition
demanding an end to what they call
"public aggression" towards their
"brothers and sisters". It's a
glimpse of the kind of solidarity
that has mobilised residents and
activists to visit camps, cook for
migrants, take them in, and make
donations to those who are evicted
and had no time to retrieve their
belongings. Many sleep outside
without blankets. Migrant camps
near international train stations, the
Seine River and famous landmarks
across the world's most visited city
have embarrassed the French government and moved it to action.
Interior Minister Bernard
Cazeneuve unveiled plans last
month to reduce asylum processing times from two years to nine
months. The plans would also free
up more than 4,000 shelter beds
this year, and another 4,000 in
2016. The French Parliament is
fast-tracking an asylum reform bill
to align French law with EU directives in time for the July 20 deadline. If passed, it would grant asylum seekers access to legal counsel
and allow authorities to relocate
refugees to other - less crowded parts of the country. But rights
groups say the modest measures
won't go far. "There are more than
45,000 new asylum applications
each year. And each application can
take one or two years - so when
[Cazeneuve] says he will create
4,000 or 5,000 new places, it's far
from enough," said Caroline
Maillary, a legal expert at Gisti, a
French migrant rights organisation.
"What's needed is four or five times
that many." France's neighbours are
more welcoming to asylum seekers. France granted protection to
close to 20,000 people in 2014,
compared to 33,000 in Sweden and
47,000 in Germany. Not only are
France's overall numbers lower, its
acceptance rate is half that of its
neighbours - about a quarter of
applicants were granted asylum in
France last year, compared to the
EU average of 45 percent. "In treating people this way," Maillary
said, "the government is sending
the message: 'Do not come to
France. You will not find shelter;
the asylum system is not good.'
Indeed, that's why many are going
on to Germany and Sweden. They
know that when they apply for asylum in Sweden, they're given shelter
right away." 'They chase us like animals' Back in the north of Paris, migrants and activists have resumed
what they describe as a game of hideand-seek with the police. Their latest camp in a small square is not
likely to last long. In addition to
harsh conditions, migrants often face
resentment from the locals [Kyle G
Brown/Al Jazeera] As Mansour and
the others meet volunteers and gather
blankets for the night, two young
men from the area get into an argument with one of the asylum seekers. One man steps away from the
crowd and pulls out what looks like
a knife. But he thinks better of it
when, one by one, a dozen of the
young men march in his direction.
The entire scene lasts no longer than
five minutes, but it's a reminder that
the migrants are vulnerable not only
to the elements, but also to some
French who resent their presence in
their area. There are now rumours
of an impending police raid, raising
fears of clashes with riot police like one three weeks ago that left
migrants, activists and at least one
elected official injured. "If I hear the
siren, I'm going to run - I'm scared,"
said Mansour. "They chase us like
animals. We have crossed the ocean
and gone days without food. We just
want a place to sleep and something
to eat, that's all! We settled in the
street because the government
couldn't do anything for us. But now
it's a hunt for immigrants." Al
Word quickly spread across the
sprawling Marikana mine and its
adjoining shack lands that South
African President Jacob Zuma was
finally about to release the findings of a commission of inquiry
into the police killing of 34 miners
here in August 2012. This article
was produced in conjunction with
the Al Jazeera Magazine. Download it for iPads and iPhones here,
and for Android devices here. Despite a court recommendation that
the president give 48 hours' notice
so that families and survivors could
prepare themselves, Zuma gave
just a few hours' warning. The families of the dead and survivors desperately tried to get off work early to find a place to watch the live
television address. But recurring
power outages meant that finding
a working television set was no
simple matter. So it was that dozens of men and women, wrapped
in blankets and coats, huddled together in the drafty cold room made
available by Lonmin, the British
company that owns the mine. Even
then, explains Thapelo Lekgowa,
a researcher and activist who
joined them, they were unable to
get the television to work properly. "We ended up listening to the
president on a cell phone radio.
The widows and miners there
missed almost everything," he
says. 'Bhele' Tholakele Dlunga was
tortured by police while in custody as part of a systematic intimidation campaign against witnesses to the Marikana massacre. [Greg
Marinovich/Al Jazeera] The report by the Marikana Commission
is the culmination of almost three
years of investigation into the
events that took place here after
rock drillers working in the platinum mine embarked on an strike.
Lonmin refused to meet them to
discuss their wage demands and,
keen to stop a "contagion" of
strikes, and apparently to protect
the interests of the politically connected shareholders, according to
evidence from the Commission of
Inquiry, the police moved in with
assault rifles. Seventy-six miners
were wounded and 34 were killed
- many shot in the back or while
surrendering. But just what the
report offered to those gathered
remains somewhat ambiguous.
Dali Mpofu, who represented
more than 300 of the injured and
affected miners, promised his legal team would hold a mass meeting in Marikana to demystify and
translate it. But for Professor Bonita Meyersfeld, the head of the
Centre for Applied Legal Studies
at the University of Witwatersrand, it is clear that it "does no
justice to the pain and scarring that
is the legacy of Marikana". She is
disappointed in the report's "lack
of findings" and believes the decision to refer the murders for further investigation by prosecutors
makes "a mockery of the last two
years". "It seems a robust position was taken vis-à-vis the police, but it appears that the top
police and political officials - all of
whose actions do warrant investigation - will remain insulated from
any inquiry," Meyersfeld explains.
And that doesn't appease Xolani
Nzuza, one of the strike leaders,
who told a meeting held last Sunday, June 28, to discuss the report
that steps must now be taken to
hold cabinet ministers to account
for the deaths of his comrades.
Rivers of money But, despite what
some regard as a rather neutered
final product, hindered by obstructive police participation and even
attempts to falsify and destroy
evidence, Meyersfeld believes the
world's third-largest producer of
platinum was lambasted. "The
best, and most surprising, part of
the report is the fact that Lonmin's
role in not complying with their
Social and Labour Plans is clear,"
she says, referring to the deal made
when Nelson Mandela's ANC won
the country's first non-racial, democratic elections in 1994 and stipulated that mines commit to improving the lot of their workers
and the surrounding communities
in exchange for maintaining the
mining rights they'd enjoyed under the apartheid regime. "Perhaps
the silence of the mining company
responsible for the conditions that
led to the massacre will finally
come to an end," says Meyersfeld
of the mining giant that, until recent retrenchments, employed
28,000 workers. Lonmin earned an
average of more than $6m a day in
2012, but despite the rivers of
money that flow to its shareholders around the world from tunnels
far beneath the dusty veld, those
who dig the ore here live in conditions described to the commission
as "truly appalling" by their
former chief operating officer,
Mohamed Seedat. In a singleroomed corrugated iron shack in
2012, one of Lonmin's employees,
a rock drill operator named
Shadrack Mtshamba, heated water for tea on a reeking paraffin
stove. A thunderstorm caused a
leak to spring in his much-patched
roof and after he'd placed a plastic
basin under the icy stream of water, he handrolled a cigarette and
spoke of the difficulties caused by
the white overalls the miners are
compelled to wear underground.
"We share one water tap 800m
from here.
To wash our overalls, we have to
collect maybe four to five 25-litre
containers of water," he explained.
"We wash them with our bare
hands; we take cold water and wash
them. They will never be white because of the stains, those black
stains, even if you take a brush and
you scrub it. It doesn't ever get
clean like it was." A miner must wash
an overall up to three times to get it
properly clean, and it takes three to
four hours to wash just one.
Throughout the shanties and settlements around Marikana, the distinctive white overalls are spread
on barbed wire fences to dry. Glancing into most yards reveals a woman bent over a bucket or basin, working the soggy white material between her glistening knuckles. 'No
water, electricity or toilets' Months
after the wage increases won by the
strike which averaged between 7
and 22 percent, Mtshamba moved
from the shack to a breezeblock
room in a compound. The roof does
not leak and he has electricity, but
he still has to go outside to relieve
himself in a communal pit toilet. He
is not alone. The hope of earning a
living has attracted roughly 100,000
people from rural areas and neighbouring countries to settle around
the mine. Mandisa Yuma, a young
woman from the Eastern Cape who
came to find her fortune in 2011,
had high expectations. "When I first
came here, I thought I would see a
place. You hear of Sun City and
Royal Bafokeng stadium. When
people come back [home], you see
them wearing nice clothes. Some
other people lie, because they do
not want other people back home
to know they are living in a makhukhu [shack]. I never know this
place is full of makhhukhu. I did
not know that this place does not
have water, electricity or toilets."
When Yuma needs to relieve herself, she says: "I have to go to the
bush. It is not safe. When you are
still sitting, a man is coming and you
have to stand up and dress yourself. In daytime you have no choice,
you go to the toilet, people are passing and you stand up." She blames
Lonmin and the local municipality
in equal measure, though they both
say the responsibility rests with the
other. It was the desperation of such
conditions that prompted a group
of women living in the shantytowns
clustered around the mine to take
on the World Bank over its investment in Lonmin seven years ago.
Sikhala Sonke, a women's organisation whose name means We Cry Together, last month lodged a complaint against the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World
Bank's private investment arm. In
2007, the IFC invested $50m in
Lonmin; $15m of that was specifically earmarked to improve the lot
of communities around the mine.
Lonmin's then CEO, Brad Mills,
said that with the support of the
IFC funds, Lonmin would ensure
those living near the mine were made
"comfortably middle class" and
would be assured of an economic
life long after the platinum has been
depleted. That funding was to help
improve pollution, sanitation, access to water, housing, education,
and women's access to employment. An IFC advisory board was
established with the stated intention of ensuring these things happened. But lawyers for the women
stated in their complaint to the
World Bank's ombudsman that:
"More than seven years after the
commencement of IFC funding, living conditions for the communities
around the Marikana mine are dire.
Both the air and groundwater are
polluted by the activities of the
mine. For many, there is no running
water, no proper housing, no proper sanitation, no proper roads."
Some of the affidavits from the
women, whose names have been
redacted because they fear reprisals from Lonmin and local government, spell out what it feels like to
live under these conditions. One
writes: "I, [REDACTED], am a 45year-old female residing at [REDACTED] Nkaneng and a member
of Sikhala Sonke. I came to Nkaneng
from [REDACTED] with my husband in 1996 and have been here
since then. My husband is a machine operator at Lonmin. "I live
with my husband and three children
aged 18, 15 and 11 in a two-room
shack. The shack I live in is hot in
summer and cold in winter: it is not
suitable for human beings. "We have
electricity in our home and a tap in
the yard. However, water does not
always flow out of the tap; sometimes it comes out at night. When
there is no water in the tap, my family draws water from the Jojo tanks.
"Nkaneng is dirty, the pollution has
increased and the air is smoke-filled.
People are always getting sick and
are unhealthier than when I first arrived here." A 40-year-old woman
says in the complaint: "When it rains
the children do not go to school because they cannot walk in the mud.
Walking barefoot in the mud results
in cuts from unseen sharp objects
in the mud…. This breaks my heart
because my children will be left behind educationally." A walk through
the informal settlement of Nkaneng
underlines every point made by the
women. In the dry season the roads
are deeply rutted.
But in the summer, when the rains
soak the soil, they are impassable.
Vehicles simply slide across the
slick surface until they are caught
in deep, cloying mud pools. Children with plastic grocery bags tied
over their feet pick their way to
school; others just stay at home.
You can follow Greg Marinovich on Twitter: @GregMarinovich
Source: Al Jazeera
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Greek finance Spot-market operations: Pakistan to continue
minister Yanis
akistan will continue the pur
chase of dollars from the
spot market in the new fiscal year after it bought $2.9 billion
in the previous year aimed at building foreign currency reserves and
reversing appreciation of real effective exchange rate that has made
its exports uncompetitive. The
continued spot market operations
by the State Bank of Pakistan
(SBP) may also bring the value of
Pak rupee against the US currency
under pressure. From July through
March last fiscal year, when the
central bank was undertaking spot
market purchases, the rupee shed
its value by 3% against the US
dollar, showed a recent report of
the International Monetary Fund
(IMF). Pakistan and the IMF have
also agreed to increase the Net International Reserves – the net official foreign currency reserves excluding all reserves related liabilities, by another $1 billion to $8.3
billion for end-September period.
The officials said the target will
largely be achieved by buying dollars from the market. In its latest
report, the IMF said that the SBP
has significantly stepped up its
spot market purchases of foreign
exchange and netted $2.9 billion till
end-May 2015. The IMF said
these purchases will increase the
reserve coverage to well above
three months of imports and bolster resilience against future external shocks. “Staff and the authorities agreed that further accumulation of reserves will be strongly
desirable as the balance of payments position remains vulnerable
and reserves are still significantly
below adequacy norms”, stated the
IMF report. The low prices of
crude oil in the international markets provided the government
space to mop up dollars from the
market. The report was written
after completion of the seventh
review of Pakistan’s economy held
in Dubai in May this year. The
IMF was of the view that further
accumulation of reserves could also
“help arrest the recent upward
trend in the real effective exchange
rate, which was inconsistent with
(economic) fundamentals”. The
Zeroing in on empty
homes, China throws
developers a lifeline
Greece's Finance Minister Yanis
Varoufakis on Monday said he was
resigning, in a shock announcement
despite the government having secured a resounding victory for the
'No' vote in the country's referendum on bailout conditions. "Soon
after the announcement of the referendum results, I was made aware
of a certain preference by some
Eurogroup participants, and assorted 'partners', for my... 'absence'
from its meetings," Varoufakis,
who had often clashed with creditors in negotiations over the past
months, said on his blog after announcing the news on Twitter. It
was "an idea that the Prime Minister judged to be potentially helpful to him in reaching an agreement.
For this reason I am leaving the
Ministry of Finance today," he
said. He warned that the referendum result -- which saw over 60
percent of Greeks vote to reject
the austerity measures demanded
by its international creditors -"comes with a large price tag attached... like all struggles for democratic rights". "The great capital bestowed upon our government"
must be "invested immediately into
a YES to a proper resolution," he
said, calling for a deal that involves
"debt restructuring, less austerity,
redistribution in favor of the needy,
and real reforms."
Outspoken and flamboyant
Varoufakis, who has sent tremors
through the Eurogroup since his
appointment in January with his
refusal to bow to convention, said:
"I shall wear the creditors' loathing with pride".
Hamas reopens office
of Gaza's only mobile
phone provider
The Hamas-appointed attorney
general in the Gaza Strip reopened
the offices of the territory's only
mobile phone provider on Sunday,
five days after he ordered them
closed over alleged non-payment
of taxes.
No reason was given for the
decision, announced on the attorney-general's Facebook page, to lift
the closure order. His office, contacted by Reuters, declined to comment. Jawwal is a subsidiary of
the Palestine Telecommunications
Co. (PalTel), the largest listed company in the Palestinian territories.
Executives at PalTel had rejected the attorney general's accu-
sations, saying all relevant taxes
had been paid to the Palestinian
Authority in the Israeli-occupied
West Bank, where the company is
registered and based.
While the Palestinian Authority, led by President Mahmoud
Abbas, is nominally in charge of
Gaza and the West Bank, Hamas
has controlled Gaza since 2007 and
appoints some of its own officials,
including the attorney general.
Jawwal is the sole provider of
mobile phone services in Gaza,
with around 1.3 million clients.
Service to subscribers was unaffected during the time the offices
were closed.
BEIJING: Dismayed by the millions of unsold homes in China's
troubled real estate market, the
Chinese government is taking matters into its own hands: by buying
some properties and turning them
into public housing. Like a white
knight riding to the rescue of distressed developers, a handful of
local governments are snapping up
thousands of empty homes at
hefty discounts and re-selling them
to the country's poorest households. This cannot be a cure-all for
China's huge supply overhang. At
the end of May, according to the
National Bureau of Statistics, unsold residential floor space totaled
657 square kilometers - the most
unsold space in at least two years,
and covering an area nearly the size
of Singapore. Still, the policy getting tested in at least six provinces
looks like a win for all. Low-income households gain from a bigger supply of subsidized homes,
the government boosts its poverty
alleviation work, developers deplete an oversupply of houses that
has dampened prices, and crucially,
China's cooling economy gets a fillip from a healthier property market. All of this comes with a caveat: government purchases of
homes - done with discounts averaging between 10 percent and 52
percent - add to a mountain of
public debt and do little to discourage the next housing bubble. But
the potential benefits are alluring,
leading authorities in some of
China's worst-performing property markets to experiment with
mass purchases of homes. In the
Inner Mongolia city of Erdos, notorious as a "ghost city" after a
building frenzy failed to attract
buyers and residents, authorities
in Dongsheng district bought
houses in April and May. Online
documents showed authorities,
Singapore’s ‘key future challenges’:
Economy, population, identity
SINGAPORE: Singapore will face
critical challenges in the next 50
years in keeping the economy
strong, raising total fertility rate and
strengthening national identity, said
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
today (June 30). To overcome
these, good leadership and policies
— many of have already been put
in place, said Mr Lee — will play
an important role, but for the longer-term challenges brought about by
a rapidly ageing population and globalisation, the Government alone
cannot resolve them and Singapore-
ans must also do their part, he added. Speaking at the seventh installment of the Ho Rih Hwa Leadership in Asia Public Lecture Series
held at the Suntec Convention Centre this evening, Mr Lee sketched
out how each of these challenges
will unfold over several time horizons. The most immediate challenge facing the Republic, in the
next decade, will be raising productivity in order to grow an already-advanced economy, said Mr
Lee. Over a longer time frame of
25 years, population challenges
will come to the fore because of
low birth rates, while the most
profound and fundamental challenge in the next 50 years will be in
strengthening the national identity. “To keep Singapore special; to
maintain a sense of ‘I am a Singaporean. I am proud of it and I
want to uphold it’ ... I think in the
very long term, that is our biggest
challenge,” said Mr Lee. Addressing about 3,500 participants, including diplomats, students, teachers and public officers, Mr Lee
warned that Singapore runs the
danger of “dissolving into globalisation” with no sense of a distinct
identity as the country becomes
more cosmopolitan and Singaporeans are increasingly well-travelled.
Citing that about 200,000 Singaporeans currently reside abroad
for work and studies, he added: “It
is good that our people are comfortable living over the world, but
if we become so comfortable
abroad that we lose the sense that
only Singapore is truly home ...
We will just melt away, be dissolved by globalisation.”
through tenders, bought 3,660
housing units from eight developments in May for between 2,766
yuan to 3,612 yuan ($446 to $582)
a square meter.
"We will watch
the situation in the (housing) supply," said an official at the
Dongsheng housing authority who
declined to be named. "If there is a
need, we will buy again." The
government's foray comes at a time
China's struggling housing market
appears to be stabilizing. New
home prices edged up for the first
time in 13 months in May, suggesting the property market may
be bottoming out. "If the inventory can be gotten rid of more
quickly, it will ease the stress on
developers' funding," said Zhu
Jianfang, the chief economist at
CITIC Securities. In Erdos, a coal
town battered when a stuttering
world economy dented coal prices
<GCLNWCWIDX>, pain was
compounded by its housing market, where a supply glut led the
mayor to call for a three-year halt
in construction last year. New
housing space completed in Inner
Mongolia last year was 24 percent
less than in 2013, the second-biggest decline among China's 31 provinces and regions, the Chinese
Academy of Social Sciences, a state
think-tank, said in May. "It helps
to run down the inventory, but not
by much," a broker surnamed Hua
said of the government's purchases.
Analysts warn against betting on
a dramatic turnaround. Developers do not want to slash their profit
margins by selling houses to the
government at discounts of up to
52 percent - the figure in Inner
Mongolia - unless they have to.
"If the market has enough buying
power then we would sell to the
market," said an official from a
developer that sold homes to the
government recently. (Reuters)
real effective exchange rate is defined as the inflation-adjusted value
of the country’s currency relative
to other major currencies. In real
terms, Pakistan’s currency appreciated by 8% from July through
March of last fiscal year. IMF’s
concern was that the country’s real
effective exchange rate should not
have appreciated indicating that
the present nominal exchange rate
of Rs101.74 to a dollar is not the
right price and the rupee should be
depreciated. The rupee-dollar parity in the open market was
Rs103.05 to a dollar. Therefore, for
the new fiscal year, the IMF has
projected that the real effective
exchange rate will depreciate by
3.5%. It is believed that the central bank’s spot market purchases
of dollars will be an important tool
to achieve this goal. The exporters
have been complaining about the
value of rupee that according to
them has made their goods
uncompetitive in the international
markets. They are advocating depreciation of rupee to remain competitive -a demand that the Ministry of Finance is not ready to accept. From July through May of
last fiscal year, Pakistan’s exports
amounted to $21.9 billion -5.3%
less than the comparative period
of the preceding fiscal year. According to the IMF’s diagnosis, the
exports have plunged due to lower
global commodity prices, ongoing
shortages in electricity supply, and
8% real exchange rate appreciation.
The IMF seemed agreeing to
Pakistan’s position that besides the
exchange rate, a range of other issues need to be addressed to more
fundamentally address the issue of
competitiveness. These issues are
electricity shortages, law and order situation and the business environment.
The industry is also crumbling
under heavy taxation, as the PMLN government has slapped roughly
Rs600 billion additional taxes during the last one year including
Rs238 billion levied with effect
from July 1.
Aviation hub in India can have a multiplier
effect on economy: Mukund Rajan, Tata Sons
Mukund Rajan, chief ethics officer
at Tata Sons, wants the 5/20 rule
scrapped. Rajan is also a director
of Vistara, India's newest airline
that's jointly owned by the Tata
Group and Singapore Airlines. The
rule stipulates that an Indian airline needs to have at least 20 planes
and run domestic operations for
five years before being eligible to
start overseas flights. This should
be abolished as local carriers that
can go abroad cater to just 30% of
Indians travelling overseas because
of lack of capacity, Rajan told
Mihir Mishra in an interview. Edited excerpts: The interest in airlines is not new for the group. We
tried twice in the past to enter the
aviation space but that never happened due to some reasons. More
recently, when the previous administration allowed foreign airlines to own stakes in Indian airlines, we were approached by
AirAsia first and Singapore Airlines and both were with different
kinds of offerings. We were very
clear since the beginning that if we
relook at this space, it will be with
a strong partner. In the Indian market, there is space for a low-cost
carrier. And there is also space for
a premium airline, which Kingfisher (grounded in October 2012)
used to offer earlier. So, these are
two different segments and both
our partners are the best in their
respective spaces. In India there is
a kind of traveller who is looking
for a better travel experience in
terms of hygiene and a little extra
care during their air travel. At the
same time, there is another kind
looking for nothing extra and just
for travel between points A and B.
Vistara, with its product offering,
has been able to establish the distinction between a fullservice and
a low-cost (carrier) and it will get
pronounced further. We are probably the fastest carrier to be able
to carry a million passenger in India and that we will achieve before
the end of this fiscal. We have a
concept of dynamic fares, which
keep changing based on 'n' number
of factors. In terms of economy
fares, we are competitive (with)
any low-cost carrier but we would
not get into offering fares and discounts like many airlines do in India. Our loads in the economy class
of our aircraft are phenomenal. But
Vistara also has seats in premium
economy and business class, which
are picking up and will pick up
further. We launched in January.
The fact of the matter is that we
were ready to launch about five
months before January. We got
held up because of the complete
change in the basis on which you
had apply for permits that was
impacted by the (US) Federal Aviation Authority audit. Sometimes
the unpredictability of policy and
time it takes to get an approval
affects not just the parties concerned but also the country. We
paid for the aircraft for five months
and had not been able to use it during the period because issuance of
our licence was delayed. (FAA
downgraded India's safety ranking
in January 2014 before restoring it
this year.)
Canadian economy observers brace for
weak jobs numbers, calls for rate cut
he Canadian jobs picture has
looked like a roller-coaster
ride of late – one month up,
one month down. After an unexpectedly strong up month in May,
economists are bracing for a flat or
down report for June from Statistics Canada this Friday. Will the
report be accompanied by
screams? If so, they will likely be
even louder calls for another interest rate cut by the Bank of Canada
this month. If Canada did slide back
into a recession, it’s likely already
over Dawn Desjardins, Assistant
Chief Economist at RBC, joins
The Business News to offer her
reaction to the Bank of Canada's
latest overnight rate decision.
Traders will look at the impact of
falling oil prices on the Canadian
economy this week after the price
of crude hit six-year lows. After
Statistics Canada reported that the
Canadian economy added nearly
59,000 jobs in May – one of the
strongest showing in recent years
– economists are calling for a drain
of as many as 20,000 jobs in June,
and a slight increase in the unemployment rate, to 6.9 per cent from
6.8 in May. “Given the volatility,
it will be a weak number,” said Benjamin Tal, deputy chief economist
with CIBC World Markets Inc.
“Something close to zero or even
negative 10,000. … I really don’t
think we can retain this strong rate
of employment” from the previous month.
The reason is that last month’s
jobs figure was out of step with
broader trends, namely overall economic performance: The monthly
gross domestic product has been
down each of the past four months
and five of the past six, including a
disappointing 0.1-per-cent decline
in April (the most recently released
figures, out last week) and downward revisions to earlier monthly
figures from 2015.
Given the economic impact of
forest fires in Alberta in May and
the unlikelihood of a robust rebound across the country that
month and June, “a technical recession” – as in, two successive
quarters of declining output – “is
a real possibility,” Mr. Tal said in
a note to clients Friday. Maybe
technical, but not “a sustained,
broad-based decline in economic
activity,” Douglas Porter, chief
economist with Bank of Montreal, told his clients Friday. “Canada
simply doesn’t meet [the] test” of
being in a recession, he said, given
that auto and home sales are booming, home building is robust and
the bad news is concentrated in
resources and the two provinces
most heavily weighted to that sector, Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Meanwhile, the jobs figures
have risen in six of the past 12
months and fallen the other six,
including a back-and-forth pattern
for the past six. “Its been all over
the map,” Mr. Porter said. “It suggests to me we shouldn’t totally
trust the month-to-month moves,”
which suggests “the economy is
struggling to grow on a consistent
basis.” Indeed, 12-month comparisons show more consistency: Employment in Canada over the one
year through May increased by
192,000 jobs, or 1.1 per cent; Canadian GDP from April, 2014, to
April, 2015, rose by 1.2 per cent.
Growth around 1 per cent is hardly inspiring – it’s one of the weakest performances by the Canadian
economy outside of recession periods we’ve seen, Mr. Porter said
in an interview. The picture south
of the border is different: The U.S.
continues to chug along, creating
more than 200,000 jobs in May,
while consumer confidence, home
and auto sales are looking rosy.
GDP growth for the year is expected to range at a steady clip of
between 2.5 per cent and 3 per cent,
IHS chief economist Nariman Behravesh said this week. Wage
growth is lagging and the rate of
people working is at its lowest level
in nearly 40 years, but the overall
picture is robust enough that most
economists continue to expect the
U.S. Federal Reserve to start
boosting interest rates this fall.
Japan set for 2017 tax
hike even as economy struggles
Japan still plans to raise the national sales tax again in 21 months,
even as the economy struggles to
gain momentum following the recession caused by a hike in the levy
last year. “Unless something really unusual like a large economic
shock happens, if things are in a
normal state, we’ll definitely raise
the sales tax,” Economy Minister
Akira Amari said in an interview
in Tokyo on Thursday. “It’d be
best for the government to raise
the sales tax after declaring an end
of deflation.” Amari’s comments
underscore the pressure on Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe’s government
to consolidate Japan’s finances as
the nation’s debt burden swells.
His cautious tone on deflation
comes as the Bank of Japan’s efforts to stoke faster price gains run
into headwinds in the form of weak
consumer sentiment and low oil
prices. The most recent reading of
the BoJ’s preferred inflation gauge
was 0.1%. The minister also said
that China’s economic slowdown
poses a bigger risk to Japan than
any financial turmoil flowing from
the crisis in Greece. Amari, who is
spearheading the government’s efforts to raise growth and reinvigorate the economy, reiterated that
the weak yen has both positive and
damentals and stay stable, without abrupt moves,” Amari said. The
currency traded at 123.08 against
the dollar at 8:50am in Tokyo yesterday, after reaching 125.86 on
June 5, the weakest level in 13
negative effects for Japan’s
economy. He added that it was
hard to say at what level the pros
and cons would be unbalanced.
“It’s important that foreign exchange rates reflect economic fun-
years. The yen has dropped more
than 30% since Abe came to power
in December 2012. Bank of Japan
board member Yutaka Harada said
last month that inflation might not
accelerate quickly enough to reach
the BoJ’s 2% goal within the latest projected time frame of April
to September of 2016. Amari declined to comment on whether the
BoJ would need to increase monetary stimulus further to meet the
price goal, while saying he expected
the central bank would take a careful approach to reaching its 2%
inflation target. The most recent
data for industrial production
shows this key indicator of economic strength dropping, while
export growth has slowed.
JPMorgan Chase & Co economists
have predicted the economy will
slow to a standstill this quarter
while their counterparts at BNP
SA says a contraction is possible.
Amari said that while Japan’s
economy is headed for recovery,
there is some seesawing, and we
may see that this quarter after
strength in the three months
through March.
Japan’s economy expanded an
annualised 3.9% in the first quarter from the previous three
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Shah to
perform in a
play at Alhamra
NEW YORK: US pop legend
Billy Joel married longtime girlfriend Alexis Roderick in a surprise
wedding on Saturday, popping
their nuptials on unsuspecting
guests at a July 4 holiday party,
the singer’s publicist said. The
wedding, which took place on
Joel’s Long Island estate, was officiated by New York Governor
Andrew Cuomo. Joel and Roderick
“surprised guests at their annual
July 4th party by exchanging vows
in front of their family and close
friends”, said a statement. Among
the guests were actor Kevin James
and Joel’s daughter Alexa Ray Joel
— whom he had with his second
wife, former supermodel Christie
Brinkley. Joel, 66, and Roderick,
who is in her early 30s according
to US media, are expecting their
first child in the next few months,
his publicist said.
Naseeruddin Shah will visit
Lahore in November to
stage a play at the Alhamra Art
Centre, The Mall. This was stated
by Moneeza Hashmi of the Faiz
Foundation Trust while talking to
Dawn. She said the trust would
hold a three-day Faiz Ahmed Faiz
Festival and Shah’s play would be
part of it. There would be four
shows of the play, she said, adding the details of Mr Shah’s visit
would be shared later. A poetry
sitting would also be held during
the festival and a number of literary luminaries from Pakistan and
India would participate in it, she
said. Painter Dr Ajaz Anwar, famous for his paintings showing the
grandeur of the old buildings and
the cultural life of Lahore, has recently established a Wheelchair
Bank at his gallery, House of
Nanah, where deserving people are
given wheelchairs. Mr Anwar
shared these details at an Iftar
party held at the gallery last week
in which many artistes and senior
professors from the National College of Arts (NCA) participated.
Ajaz Anwar was born in Ludhiana
in 1946. His father was a cartoonist who apparently had stirred his
passion for art from childhood and
from whom he drew inspiration.
The old buildings of Lahore are the
main theme of Anwar’s paintings.
He has tried to preserve those
buildings in his paintings which are
either crumbling or replaced by
new ones. These are the buildings
of old Lahore; not all are historical, but common homes of common people. Azad Theatre and
Ajoka Theatre to put up plays:
The Azad Theatre, a parallel theatre group from Punjab, will start
holding rehearsals of its new play,
Prem Gali Ki Prem Kahani, in the
next few days. It is a comedy play
written and directed by Malik
Aslam. Mr Aslam told Dawn the
play was aimed at different social
issues which would be shared with
the audience in a lighter vein. It
will be staged during the current
month at Alhamra Art Centre, The
Mall. Young and old parallel theatre artistes are a part of the play.
The Ajoka Theatre is also coming
up with a new play.Talking about
the play, Shahid Nadeem says the
play is a political satire, the nonparticipation of the masses in the
political circles.
The play will carry a humorous
streak but with a serious message,
he said. The play will be staged in
the second half of August in Lahore
and it will be Ajoka’s 50th play.
Shahid Nadeem is the writer as well
as director of the play. Faisal
Qureshi and Aijaz Aslam in
Istanbul: Renowned actor Faisal
Qureshi was recently in Istanbul
where he recorded an exclusive interview with long-term friend actor Aijaz Aslam for Maria Wasti’s
show Sunrise from Istanbul which
will be aired on upcoming Pakistani-Turkish TV channel, SEE
TV, soon.
Faisal is busy these days
shooting his home production,
Bheegi Palkein, whose cast will be
revealed later next week.
Deepika Padukone and Ranveer
Singh apparently caught up at a
Mumbai hotel in the wee hours of
If sources are to be believed,
rumoured lovebirds Deepika
Padukone and Ranveer Singh stole
some moments of togetherness late
on Friday night at a Goregaon fivestar. Says an eyewitness who spotted the actress at the hotel entrance, "Deepika was wearing a
long white dress and had her hair
tied up in a tight ponytail. She
looked tired and spent about five
minutes pacing up and down the
entrance. It was clear that she was
waiting for someone."
A few minutes later, Ranveer
Singh arrived on the scene, suggests the onlooker, adding: "He
was wearing a Superman T-shirt
and a bandana covered his head.
He was carrying some luggage as
well. He then placed it at the security check and entered the hotel
with Deepika."
The alleged couple has been
shooting for Sanjay Leela
Bhansali's magnum opus 'Bajirao
Mastani' at Film City Studios in
Goregaon, so they might have
reached the hotel straight from the
As per reports, Ranveer Singh
is temporarily putting up at an
apartment near Film City to avoid
the daily commute to the sets from
his home in Bandra. So, perhaps
the two were looking to grab a latenight bite or maybe, it was prebirthday celebrations for Ranveer,
who turns 30 today. The actor is
said to have been given time off
from the shoot.
Deepika Padukone and
Ranveer Singh were not available
for comment.
Feel the need to act Fifth Harmony interview :
again: Pooja Bhatt ‘X Factor USA should make a
comeback now Idol has gone’
NEW DELHI: She set foot in the
industry as an actor and then dived
into the filmmaking business as a
producer and director. But the unfettered Pooja Bhatt says she
wants to get in front of the camera
“I stopped acting as I wasn’t
curious about it anymore. I wasn’t
passionate about acting. I became
passionate about filmmaking,” said
Pooja. “The thrill to make something out of nothing and to go out
there to see whether it will work
or not attracted me, but today, I
feel the need to act again,” she
added. “I’m here. But I don’t need
to sell myself. If someone offers a
film, I’m willing to do it if it’s
something I haven’t done before
or pushes my boundary,” she
added. Pooja said she feels the need
to go out there in front of the camera and let go, as acting is all about
letting go. “I will be there very
soon, guys,” she stated.
But the 43-year-old noted that
she found a place in the heart of
the film industry after quitting acting. “I became more part of the
industry after quitting acting. I
contribute greatly to the industry
as I bring in talent, provide money
in the chain and make it happen,”
she said. “During the making of
Kabhi Na Kabhi, I realised that the
process of filmmaking interests me
and want to do more actively.”
The actor forayed into
Bollywood with 1989 film Daddy
and continued to wow with films,
such as Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin,
Sadak, Sir, Zakhm and Tamanna.
In 2004, she stepped behind the
camera to direct Paap, followed by
Dhokha, Kajraare and Jism 2.
Pooja last featured in Everybody
Says I’m Fine! in 2001.
They may not have won their series of The X Factor USA, but girl
group Fifth Harmony have become
the canceled series' biggest act.
The five piece - in true X Factor boot camp style - were put
together by the judges and mentored by Simon Cowell all the way
to the live final. The music mogul
was quick to snap them for his
Syco record label, and with their
debut album Reflection due to get
its UK release on July 10, their
ambition for global success edges
ever nearer. Digital Spy caught up
with Fifth Harmony to speak about
their new album, sampling Mariah
Carey and whether The X Factor
USA should stage a return now
Idol will be leaving American television screens.
Watch the music video for
Fifth Harmony's new single 'Worth
It' below:
Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher reportedly
Why are lead characters mostly tie the knot over Fourth of July weekend
male, upper-caste, Hindus?
The recent Zoya Akhtar release,
Dil Dhadakne Do, which had cinema-goers flocking to the big
screens, makes us question
whether Bollywood is only making flicks which portray India’s
niche audience, predominantly the
upper class.
The picturesque offshore film
portrayed the lives of super rich
Punjabi Indians and their first
world problems. Critics felt the
film was detached from India’s third
world reality because it is “difficult to give a damn about the
people in the film” and deemed the
movie ‘shallow’, reported Quartz
However, the director, was of
a different opinion. “The Indian
audience doesn’t want to watch
poor people,” she said in an interview, dismissing all notions that
her films are targeted towards the
“What about Slumdog [Millionaire]? Didn’t you watch that
even though it was about a world
we were not a part of? At the end
of the day it is about experiences,
emotions that work for all of us,”
Zoya said in an interview with
The Hindu reported an analysis of lead characters in almost 300
films released in 2013 and 2014
which revealed that only six lead
characters belonged to the lower
classes. This was in contrast to
Tamil films, which saw a high rise
in backward caste in the same time
In 2014, only three Bollywood
films saw a shift in lead roles; Mary
Kom, a biopic whose lead character was a member of the Kom
tribal community; Highway, about
a distraught criminal from the
Manjunath, a real-life account of
an Indian Oil employee who was
murdered for speaking out against
a corrupt oil dealer.
The year before that in 2013,
three film releases featured backward castes. The films were;
Bandook, the story of a lower
caste man’s rise to political power,
Kangana Ranaut’s Revolver Rani,
and Deepika and Ranveer ’s
Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela.
But it’s not just about the lack
of lower class films in B-Town,
the most common characters featured in these movies are Hindus.
According to The Hindu report,
Christians, Muslims or Sikhs were
hardly kept in mind for roles when
writing the script.
Well over a year after getting engaged, it
seems that Mila Kunis and Ashton
Kutcher may have finally tied the knot.
According to People, the couple got
married over the Fourth of July weekend during a secret ceremony.The pair
first met back in 1998 when they both
appeared in That '70s Show, but didn't
become real-life sweethearts until they
began dating in 2012.
Since getting together, they have
also had their first child together, Wyatt
Isabelle Kutcher. In March, Kunis
sparked speculation that the pair could
already be married after simply replying "maybe" to the question on The Late
Late Show with James Corden. Kutcher was previously married to Demi
Moore between 2005 and 2013. Twitter | digitalspyuk on Facebook
Salman unperturbed by protest against
‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’
While several religious groups, including the VHP and the Bajrang
Dal, have led protests against Kabir
Khan's "Bajrangi Bhaijaan",
Salman Khan, the co-producer of
the film, is not bothered at all.
"If they are a religious group
then the basic thing they should
know that every religion respects
the other person's religion,"
Salman said at an event here Friday to launch special Eid song "Aaj
ki party" from the film, along with
Kabir Khan, composer Pritam and
singer Mika Singh.
"Every religion preaches only
one thing: 'to follow your religion
and to be respectful and to respect
the other person's beliefs and religion.' I don't think anyone can protest on this," he said A right-wing
groups are demanding the film's title
be changed as it hurts the sentiments of Hindus.
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Captain Mathews
puts Sri Lanka
Hits unbeaten 77 as hosts lead Pakistan by
291 runs at stumps on day three.
Williams sisters star at Wimbledon on manic Monday
The 26th clash between Serena and Venus, who have won the Wimbledon title five times each, will be the first at the All England Club since the 2009 final.
ine Grand Slam champions
line-up on Wimbledon's
manic Monday with places in the quarter-finals at stake and
most interest centred on the latest
chapter in the three-decade long
Williams sisters story. The 26th
clash between Serena and Venus,
who have won the Wimbledon title five times each, will be the first
at the All England Club since the
2009 final. They will dominate
early Centre Court action before
the likes of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray become the focus of the day. Serena
holds the US, Australian and
French Open titles and her record
in 2015 reads 35 wins against just
one loss. A sixth Wimbledon title
will give her all four majors at once
and leave her with just the US
Open to conquer to complete the
calendar Grand Slam. Fourth seed
Maria Sharapova, the 2004 champion, faces Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan for a spot in the quarterfinals. The Russian won Wimbledon in 2004 but since has only
made it past the fourth round once
since 2006. Danish fifth seed Caroline Wozniacki faces Spanish
20th seed Garbine Muguruza while
sixth seed Lucie Safarova, the
French Open runner-up, tackles
Coco Vandeweghe, the US world
number 47. Former world number
one, Jelena Jankovic, who put out
defending champion Petra Kvitova on Saturday, takes on Agnieszka Radwanska, the 2012 runnerup. Victoria Azarenka, the 2012
and 2013 Australian Open champion, has made the Wimbledon
semi-finals twice but the Belarusian 24th seed could face a rough
ride against in-form Belinda Bencic. Bencic's fellow Swiss Timea
Bacsinszky reached her first Grand
Slam semi-final at the French Open
last month and the 15th seed is
favourite to beat world number 48
Monica Niculescu of Romania.
Olga Govortsova is the only qualifier to reach the last 16. The Belarusian faces US 21st seed Madison Keys. Defending champion
Djokovic will face South African
14th seed Kevin Anderson in the
fourth round, defending a 4-1 career lead. Anderson won their first
meeting in 2008 but since then it's
been the world number one who
has been on top winning the next
four without dropping a set, including a straight sets win at Wim-
USA thrash Japan to
win Women’s World Cup
Hat-trick by captain Lloyd in the opening 16 minutes helped her side beat the 2011 winners Japan.
Captain Carli Lloyd scored a hattrick inside the opening 16 minutes as USA beat reigning champions Japan 5-2 to win the 2015
Women's World Cup. The American midfielder became the first
woman to score a hat-trick in a
World Cup final and just the second player overall after Geoff
Hurst netted three goals in England's 4-2 win over Germany in
the men's 1966 final. World Cup
winners 2015 - USA 2011 - Japan
2007 - Germany 2003 - Germany
1999 - USA 1995 - Norway 1991
- USA. But unlike Hurst, whose
three goals spanned more than 100
minutes with the last two coming
in extra time, Lloyd needed just 13
minutes to complete her hat-trick.
Her first came in the third
minute when Megan Rapinoe
drove a low diagonal ball across
the area and Lloyd timed her run
to perfection, meeting the ball with
a powerful, first-time drive past
Japan keeper Ayumi Kaihori.
If Japan were shocked by conceding so early, they were utterly
stunned two minutes later when
Lloyd doubled the lead from a setpiece again. Japan barely had time
to regroup before they found themselves 3-0 down in the 14th minute
when an awful attempted headed
clearance from Azusa Iwashimizu
fell to Holiday on the edge of the
box, who blasted in a volley.
In Pictures - Tackling taboos:
Women's football in Sudan
Two minutes later came one
of the most remarkable goals wit-
nessed in a World Cup final.
Lloyd, gathering the ball in her
own half, spotted Kaihori far off
her line and shot from the half-way
line. The scrambling Japanese
keeper could only touch the ball
onto the post and into the net.
Lloyd missed a penalty in the
2011 World Cup final when the
US lost to Japan in a shootout,
but has otherwise made a habit of
scoring in the biggest matches.
She scored the winner in extra
time against China in the 2008
Olympic gold medal match in
Beijing as well as both goals in her
country's 2-1 win over Japan in
the 2012 Olympic final.
The seven goals in the match
made it the highest scoring Women's World Cup final.
bledon in the second round four
years ago. Federer, 33, chasing a
record eighth Wimbledon and 18th
major, faces Spanish 20th seed
Roberto Bautista Agut who was
voted the most improved player
of 2014. He has lost both of his
matches against Federer without
winning a set including a fourth
round loss to the Swiss at the 2014
US Open. Murray, the 2013 champion tackles 36-year-old Ivo Karlovic, the oldest man to make the
fourth round at the All England
Club since compatriot Niki Pilic
in 1976. Karlovic has rained down
136 aces in three matches but trails
Murray 5-0 in career meetings.
Fourth seed and French Open
champion Stan Wawrinka faces
Belgian 16th seed David Goffin
who has made the fourth round at
'issue legal threat over
Toby Alderweireld'
Southampton are prepared to take
legal action in their quest to secure
Toby Alderweireld from Atletico
Madrid, Sky sources understand.
Sky Sports News HQ reported on
July 2 that Tottenham were also
keen on the 26-year-old defender,
who spent last season on loan at
the Saints, and have made that interest known to the player's representatives. However, the south
coast club remain confident of signing Alderweireld permanently
with reports that Atletico Madrid
had failed to cancel the buy-out
clause in time. Bet nowBet £5 get
£20 free It is understood that a
this stage, it is believed
Alderweireld would be happy to
sign for either club. Toby
Alderweireld: His manager is desperate to retain his services oby
Alderweireld: His manager is desperate to retain his services At the
end of June, Southampton head
coach Ronald Koeman admitted he
was unsure over Alderweireld's future but expressed his desire to
keep hold of him. Koeman said:
"The player likes to stay, we like
to keep the player but it's a little
difficulty at the moment with
Atletico Madrid, I have a good
hope he will stay for Southampton.
buy-out clause of £6.8m to make
the move permanent was written
into the loan agreement that saw
the Belgium international move to
St Mary's last summer. Madrid
had the option to cancel it by paying Saints a £1.5m fee, but it is
understood they did not do so in
time. Sky sources are reporting
that if Atletico now do a deal with
Tottenham or anyone else, then
Southampton will consider legal
action against the Spanish club. At
" Alderweireld began his career at
Ajax, where he won three league
titles. In 2013 he moved to Madrid,
where he won La Liga and reached
the Champions League final in his
first season. He won his first international cap in 2009, and has
earned over 40 caps for his country. He made 25 appearances for
Southampton last season helping
them to secure a Europa League
slot with a seventh-placed finish.
France inflict further damage to Pakistan’s
pride; Imran steps down
KARACHI: Two days after their
seeing their Olympic dreams go up
in smoke, Pakistan failed to restore
some pride when they went down
2-1 to France on Sunday to finish
a lowly eighth at the Hockey World
League Semi-finals in Antwerp.
Pakistan went into the match
against France after a 1-0 loss to
Ireland on Friday which saw their
hopes of finishing fifth and earning a spot at next year’s Olympics
in Rio de Janeiro come to an end.
And it seemed they hadn’t really recovered from that heartbreak
as France took the lead in the 13th
minute through Simon BrisacMartin.
Shahnaz Sheikh’s men looked
completely out of sorts for large
swathes of the match and the
French doubled their advantage in
the 30th minute through Hugo
Tauseeq Ahmad pulled one
back in the fourth quarter but it
was too little too late for Pakistan
whose captain Mohammad Imran
stepped down following their latest defeat.
Imran followed the footsteps
of the national selection committee, headed by chief selector
Islahuddin Siddiqui, which also
resigned from their posts after Pakistan failed to qualify for the 2016
Games. The coach of Pakistan’s
junior team Kamran Ashraf also
resigned from his post on Saturday.
There were also unconfirmed
reports from Antwerp that head
coach and manager, Shahnaz had
also tendered his resignation. In
what appeared to be another attempt by the Pakistan Hockey
Federation (PHF) top officials to
salvage the situation, Imran said in
a statement that he was given an
absolute autonomy in executing his
responsibilities by the federation
and he has informed the PHF about
his decision. “Players were given
all the necessary facilities but they
failed to perform,” he said, adding
that it is time to allow youngsters
Wimbledon for the first time.
Wawrinka has a 2-0 lead over Goffin with both wins coming on the
hard courts of Chennai in 2011 and
2015. American wildcard Denis
Kudla is the lowest ranked player
left in the tournament and the lone
The world 105 faces a stiff test
against US Open champion Marin
The other last 16 matches feature
Australia's Nick Kyrgios up
against France's 2007 semi-finalist Richard Gasquet. Vasek Pospisil, the world number 56, is only
the fourth Canadian man to reach
the last 16 and he faces Serbia's
22nd seed Viktor Troicki. Czech
sixth seed Tomas Berdych, the
2010 runner-up, takes on Gilles
Simon, the French 12th seed.
to come forward and play their role.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
expressed concern at the hockey
team’s performance and PHF affairs after Pakistan were beaten by
Ireland and squandered their last
opportunity to play in the Olympics.
Sri Lanka skipper Angelo
Mathews led by example, hitting
an unbeaten 77 to help his team
overcome a top order wobble and
take a 291-run lead against Pakistan at the end of the third day's
play in the third and final Test.
At 35-3, Sri Lanka looked in
deep trouble but Mathews added
81 runs with Jehan Mubarak (35)
for the fifth wicket to steady the
innings. He and Dinesh Chandimal
(39 not out) then added 67 runs to
stretch the lead before bad light
forced early stumps with Sri Lanka
in firm control of the series-deciding contest. Inforgraphic: Who
rules the world of sport? Having
claimed the last Pakistani wicket
in the morning to bowl out the visitors for 215, Sri Lanka wobbled
early in their second innings with
Rahat Ali troubling their batsmen
in a brilliant display of swing bowling.
The left-arm paceman first
pegged back the off stump of
Dimuth Karunaratne, a first-in-
nings centurion, then repeated the
feat against Lahiru Thirimanne to
wreck the top order. His new ball
partner Ehsan Adil got in on the
act when he coaxed an edge from
Kaushal Silva to claim the other
Sri Lanka wicket to fall in a stopstart morning session interrupted
by several rain delays. Upul
Tharanga (48) looked the most fluent of the Sri Lankan batsmen, hitting six boundaries in his nearly
run-a-ball knock as he counter-attacked with aggression. In Pictures: Preserving cricket’s history
in a Dubai backyard The southpaw, however, fell short of his fifty
with Azhar Ali taking a smart batpad catch at forward short leg off
Yasir Shah. Back in the test squad
after nearly eight years, Mubarak
joined his captain in rebuilding the
innings but was dismissed for 35
by Shah, who claimed his 24th
wicket in the series. Earlier, Sarfraz
Ahmed remained not out after a
defiant 78 as Pakistan conceded a
63-run first innings deficit.
Manny thought
he had won: Arum
Manny Pacquiao felt he was harshly treated by the judges after losing his May mega fight with Floyd
Mayweather on points, says the
Filipino star's promoter Bob Arum.
The eagerly awaited 'Fight of the
Century' saw Mayweather confirm his status as the best fighter
on the planet, taking a unanimous
decision over long-term rival Pacquiao in Las Vegas. In the aftermath of his defeat, 'The Pac Man'
revealed that he had been hampered by a serious shoulder injury, but still believed he had done
enough to earn the decision. et
nowBet £5 get £20 free "He
thought he won the fight," Arum
told boxingscene.com. "With both
shoulders, he felt he would have
won easy." Floyd Mayweather
has taken a swipe at Manny Pacquio after the Fillipino fighter complained about a shoulder injury
after his defeat to Mayweather in
May Floyd Mayweather has taken a swipe at Manny Pacquio after the Fillipino fighter complained
about a shoulder injury after his
defeat to Mayweather in May
Pacquiao's injury claims have been
openly mocked by the unbeaten
Mayweather, who ruled out a rematch, and 'Money' has vowed to
hang up his gloves after his 49th
fight on September 12.
Arum, who recently mentioned Sheffield's Kell Brook as a
potential comeback foe for Pacquiao, saw the fight differently and
scored it a draw. "I watched the
fight over and over again," he said,
"Without being biased - in addition to the four rounds that (two)
judges gave Pacquiao - I gave him
the second. "I don't see how you
could take the second round away
from him. And the last round as
well, which would have made it a
Function Fit after dramatic win
The rest of the news from the
meeting at Fairyhouse, where Fit
For Function and Gary Carroll
were involved in early drama. Fit
For Function and jockey Gary
Carroll escaped injury when parting company shortly after the line
when winning the Irish Stallion
Farms EBF Median Auction
Maiden at Fairyhouse. The 11/2
chance lost his footing on a slippery surface caused by a little rain
on top of good to firm ground, after showing a good turn of foot to
open his account in the six-furlong
heat. Bet nowBet £5 get £20 free
Joe Murphy's juvenile colt was
just behind the pace-setting
Zebgrey until going on inside the
final furlong and held Lady Allegra
by three-quarters of a length.
Murphy said: "He's a very genuine
horse. It was just one of those
things. The ground is a bit slippy
after the rain and he just jinked a
bit. He's a Christian of a horse. "He
just idled a bit in front. I don't know
how to rate him on that, but he'll be
going for a nursery." Trinity Force
(7/4 favourite) gave owner Sean
Jones and trainer Ger Lyons victory in the Summer Ladies Day
Handicap for the third year running.
Successful with Greek Canyon in
the two previous seasons, Trinity
Force got home by half a length from
Captain Cullen in a blanket finish.
Lyons said: "He had a wind operation over the winter and it's great to
get his confidence back. Six furlongs
is as sharp as he wants, and he's
more of a seven-furlong horse or
even a mile. "It's nice to get the
wheels back on the wagon, and he'll
go to the horses-in-training sale at
the end of the year."
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2015-Saratan 16, 1394 H.S
Vol:IX Issue No:331 Price: Afs.15
Civil society
activists in Balkh seek
explanation from govt
AT News Report
KABUL: Civil society activists
in northern Balkh province urged
the government for explanation
over brutal killings of policemen
in Jalrez district of Maidan Wardak province and alleged negligence
of concerned security agencies.
Civil society activists in a
gathering on Monday expressed
their condolences to the bereaved
families of the victims of Jalrez
incident. Abdul Hamid, a civil right
activist, said that concerned officials have turned their blind eye
Appellate court slammed
for quashing death sentences
towards mounting insecurity
across the country. He accused the
incumbent government of negligence in its duty to protect people s lives. The right activists
urged the government to devise a
special mechanism to bring lasting insecurity across the country.
The activists also criticized the
appellate court decision of overturning the death sentences of four
men who were convicted in a brutal mob killing of Farkhunda.
Malalai Osman, an activist,
stressed that justice should be
Drone strike kills three
militants in Nangarhar
By Akhtar M. Nikzad
KABUL: Tens of civil rights activists on Monday staged protest
demonstration in front of the
Shah-Do Shamshira Mosque and
termed the appellate court s verdict unfair about dropping death
penalty for men who were involved in Farkhunda s mob killing. Earlier, the primary court sentenced four men to death in the
case. Recently the appellate court
quashed the death penalty of the
four men to 20 years imprison-
ment and one defendant, who was
sentenced to 16 years in prison,
was acquitted.
In reaction to the jury s decision, hundreds of girls and women protested and chanted slogans
against the government and judiciary. They alleged the Presidential Office of pressurizing the
court. Silai Ghaffar, an organizer
of the protest, strongly criticized
the court for overturning the primary court s decision and said:
The sentence by the appellate
court was not based on justice.
58 insurgents killed in raids
AT News Report
KABUL: NATO s drone strike
killed three Taliban militants in
eastern Nangarhar province the
other day, said an official source.
A press statement issued by
Nangarhar provincial governor
office said that NATO troops
conducted the drone strike in
Karez area of Chaparhar district
of the province. The killed people were identified as Qari Samiullah, Shokur, and Abdullah. There
no civilian casualties in the drone
strike, the statement added. The
statement also reported fighting
between the Taliban militants and
fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq
and Syria (ISIS) in Naziyan district
of the province. At least 14 militants have been killed during the
clashes, while two others wounded, it said. It is worth mentioning
that foreign troops frequently conduct drone strikes against Taliban
militants in mountainous areas in
eastern provinces of Afghanistan.
AT News Report
KABUL: At least 58 armed Taliban fighters were killed and 29
others were wounded in different
crackdowns within past 48 hours.
In a press release issued here,
Ministry of Interior (MoI) said
that Afghan National Army
(ANA) in collaboration with Afghan National Police (ANP) and
National Directorate of Security
(NDS) has conducted clearance
operations against insurgents in
different areas of Baghlan, Takhar,
Kunduz, Faryab, Sar-e-Pul, Kan-
dahar, Uruzgan, Paktiya, Zabul, and
Helmand provinces. In these operations 41 rebels were taken out and
16 others injured. Meanwhile, the
defense ministry in a statement said
that 17 militants were killed and 13
others wounded in joint operations
in Paktia, Nangarhar, Kunduz, and
Kandahar provinces. The ministry
claimed of detaining 21 insurgents
in the crackdowns. ANA and ANP
recovered huge cache of weapons
in the operations as well, the statement said. Five ANA soldiers were
killed in roadside bombing and rockets shelling in different provinces.
The decision was taken under
pressure of the presidential office.
The verdict behind the closed
doors [of the appellate court]
proved that the current government does not respect women s
rights and will never support democratic values in the country.
She said that if they failed to
raise their voice, it is feared that
the apex court would release the
convicts in the case. Malalai Joya,
another protester, said that women s rights have not been restored
by the government and most of
the decisions were based on gender-discrimination. Recently,
scores of rights activists in a meeting with President Ashraf Ghani
asked him to request the court to
review its decision in the mob killing case.
Deputy Spokesman
for Presidential Office, Sayed Zafar Hashemi, said the president
has promised to address their
concerns. Four months ago,
Farkhunda Malikzada was attacked at a shrine after being falsely accused of burning a copy of
the Holy Quran.
Taliban capture parts of
TALOQAN: Fierce fighting underway between security forces
and Taliban for the last ten hours
leading and militants to capture
several areas of Khwaja Ghar district in northern Takhar province,
an official said on Monday. Taliban seized several areas last week
but later security forces claimed
regained control of the district
from insurgents. Maj. Abdul Jalil
Aseer, police spokesperson, told
Pajhwok Afghan News intense
battle erupted between security
forces and Taliban since 3:00 am.
The militants, he said controlled
Zard Kamar, Chaghtari, Poza
Qargha , Dar-ul-Uloom, Goor Teepa
and Pool Momin areas. Mohammad
Omar, Khwaja Ghar district chief,
said: We try to recapture the areas
fallen to militants. Shakirullah, a
resident of the locality, confirmed
firefight between security forces and
militants and said: Taliban fighters came closer to the city but the
security forces pushed them back,
he added.(Pajhwok)
Logar edu
hub of
corruption: PC
PUL-I-ALAM: Members of provincial council in central Logar
province on Monday blamed directorate of education for hiring
unprofessional and inefficient persons, which left far-reaching negative impact on the vital sector
a charge the directorate of education rejected.Adalat Abdul Rahimzai, deputy head of provincial council, told Pajhwok Afghan
News the directorate of education
was facing with serious issues
which needed immediate attention. People complaints and our
monitoring proved that education
department needs improvement
because its current performance
is extremely weak, he noted. Rahimzai said: Education director
prefers references in appointment
of employees thus trampling
merit. Deputy education director
and several other officials have
been appointed on heavy bribe.
The negligence of education department have vanished education
from schools. Mohibullah Saleh,
provincial council members,
warned that education sector
would meet disaster had the corruption and other issues were not
resolved. Mohammad Rahim,
Baraki Barak district chief, said
most of the teachers were inefficient and inexperienced or merely
grade 12th graduates. The
schools are opened but there is
poor education. There is quantity
but there is no quality education,
he rued. Abdullah, a student of
Kalangar High School, said:
Mostly teachers remain absent
even they don t teach if they come
to schools. We have shortage of
books therefore the students don t
often attend schools. Mohammad Akbar Stanakzai, director education, called all these as baseless allegations. Education directorate follows rules and regulations
and neither education department
nor I am involved in any type of
corruption. Stanikzai said the
provincial council members and
other officials leveled baseless allegations and blamed the education department for their personal interests. He offered to be open
for investigations and asked members to visit and monitor all activities closely. (Pajhwok)
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